Shimla: Normal life was affected in Himachal Pradesh as the entire tribal belt and other higher hills had another spell of heavy snowfall and the mid and lower hills received widespread rain causing sharp fall in day temperatures.
Strong velocity icy winds swept across the region and thick fog engulfed mid and lower hills reducing visibility considerably and vehicles had to move at a slow pace with headlights on during the day.
Avalanche threat loomed large over high altitude tribal areas and people living above an altitude of 2,500 metres have been advised not to venture out till the weather conditions improved.
Tribal areas of Lahaul and Spiti, Kinnaur, Pangi and Bharmaur, the Dhauladhar and Churdhar hills and Rohtang, Saach and Kunzam passes are experiencing intermittent heavy snowfall since last night and covered under a thick blanket of 80 cm to 110 cm of fresh snow.
Fresh snowfall blocked roads in the interior areas and about 80 roads in Kinnaur, Shimla, Mandi, Kullu, Kangra and Chamba districts were closed due to snow while 25 roads were cleared by the Public Works Department today.
"We hope to clear all the roads by tomorrow if there is no fresh snowfall," said Ajay Garg, Superintending Engineer (Works).
A maximum number of 38 roads were blocked in Kinnaur while ten roads were blocked in Kangra, eight in Shimla and six each in Mandi and Dalhousie but all the national and state highways except Theog-Chopal and Theog-Rohroo were open for traffic.
The entire tribal belt of Lahaul and Spiti, Kinnaur, Pangi and Bharmaur, Dhauladhar and Churdhar ranges and an Rohtang and Kunzam passes are experiencing intermittent heavy snowfall since last night while mid and lower hills are experiencing intermittent rains.
While high mountain passes of Rohtang, Kunzam, Saach and Chansel received 90 to 100 cm of snow, Keylong and Kalpa recorded 32 cm and 25 cm of snow, followed by Narkanda and Tissa 10 cm, Moorang and Kharapatthar 7 cm.
The mid and lower hills experienced widespread rains and Dharamsala and Bhandal recorded 45 mm and 33 mm of rains, followed by Saloni 28 mm, Jogindernagar 27 mm, Seobagh and Kasol 23 mm, Palampur and Baijnath 20 mm, Kheri 16 mm, Tinder 14 mm, Gaggal 13 mm, Bhuntar 12 mm, and Shimla and Dehra Gopipur 11 mm.
Day temperatures plummeted by five to six degrees and Kalpa recorded a high of zero degree while maximum dropped to 8 degrees at Manali, 6.6 at Shimla and 10 degrees at Bhuntar.
Una was the hottest during the day with a maximum of 14.0 degrees, followed by Solan and Dharamsala 12.2 degrees, Nahan 11.8 and Sundernagar 11.5 degrees Celsius.
Minimum temperatures rose by a few notches and Kalpa recorded a low of minus 6.4 degrees, while Keylong and Manali recorded minimum at minus 2.4 and minus 1.4 degrees and Shimla shivered at minus 0.2 degree.
Bhuntar and Solan recorded a minimum of 5.0 degrees, Una 5.3, Dharamsala 5.4, Palampur 6.0 and Nahan 8.7 degrees.
The local MeT has predicted rains, thundershowers or snow at some places in lower, mid and higher hill tomorrow and dry weather in the state on January 24 and 25.