Heavy snowfall, rains predicted in Kashmir Valley next week

Srinagar: Leh in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir was the coldest recorded place in the state as the night temperature there remained several degrees below the freezing point even as the Valley braced for possible heavy snowfall next week.

The Meteorological Department has said a western disturbance would affect the state next week and warned of heavy rains and snowfall.

The night temperatures across all stations in Kashmir valley, except at Gulmarg, and Ladakh region decreased last night, an official of the MET department said here.

He said Srinagar recorded a low of minus 3 degrees Celsius last night, down from minus 2.7 degrees Celsius the previous night.

The official said the mercury in Qazigund in south Kashmir settled at a low of minus 2.5 degrees Celsius, down over a degree from minus 1.4 degrees Celsius the previous night.

He said Kokernag town recorded a low of zero degrees Celsius down from 1.3 degrees Celsius yesterday.

Kupwara town in north Kashmir registered a low of minus 3.3 degrees Celsius, down from the previous night’s minus 2.7 degrees Celsius, the official said.

Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 2.2 degrees Celsius slightly up from previous night’s minus 2.5 degrees Celsius.

The resort was the only place in Kashmir division where the night temperature marked an increase last night.

He said Pahalgam registered a minimum of minus 4.5 degrees Celsius, a decrease of over three degrees from the previous night’s minus 1.3 degrees Celsius.

Leh, in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, recorded the minimum temperature of minus 12.3 degrees Celsius last night compared to minus 12 degrees Celsius the previous night, the official said, adding Leh was the coldest recorded place in the state.

He said the nearby Kargil town recorded a low of minus 7.2 degrees Celsius as against the previous night’s minus 7 degrees Celsius.

The MET office has said while the weather is likely to remain dry in the valley till December 10, a fresh Western Disturbance is most likely to affect the state from 11 to 15 December with moisture feeding taking place from the Arabian Sea.

Under the influence of this system, moderate to heavy rain or snow is expected at widespread places of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh region.

The main activity of this system (moderate to heavy rainfall or snowfall) is likely to occur during 12-13 December and gradual decrease thereafter, the official said.

He said this would be the first major wet spell during the current season for the state.

The official said the weather system may lead to disruption of surface and air transport and there would be significant fall in the day temperature and slight rise in night temperature.

The Divisional Administration Kashmir has issued a weather advisory and asked all the Deputy Commissioners of Kashmir Division to take all the precautionary measures in their respective districts.

It is enjoined upon all Deputy Commissioners, all head of departments and district superintendents of police to activate manpower and machinery and to be in a state of preparedness, so as to minimize disruption of essential services, road connectivity at the earliest, restoring electric supply, water supply, healthcare services etc, reads the advisory issued by divisional commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Khan.

Khan has also ordered closure of the Sonamarg-Gumri road (Zojila Pass), which connects Kashmir Valley with the Ladakh region, from 10 December for all types of traffic until further notice.

The decision has been taken in view of the expected snowfall and slippery road conditions.