Shimla: Sunny weather prevailed in Himachal on Friday as rain and snow was predicted by the weatherman from Saturday night, news that is sure to gladden the hearts of tourists thronging the hill state for Christmas and New Year celebrations.
"There are chances of more rain and snow in Himachal from the night of December 26," an official of the meteorological office told IANS.
Most prominent tourist places like Shimla, Narkanda, Kufri, Manali and Dalhousie - located in the mid-hills - may witness moderate snowfall, he said.
He said western disturbances - storm systems originating from the Caspian Sea and moving across the Afghanistan-Pakistan region - would be active again in the region till December 27.
Shimla received this winter season's first snowfall on December 23.
Another picturesque town Manali, some 250 km from Shimla, experienced mild snow that same day.
Meanwhile, the state recorded a marginal rise in temperatures on Friday due to sunny weather conditions.
Shimla recorded a minimum of 2.5 degrees, a rise from minus 0.8 degree.
Kalpa in Kinnaur district recorded a low of minus 4.4 degrees while it was 4.6 degrees at Dharamsala, the seat of the Tibetans' government-in-exile, minus 4.2 degrees in Manali and 2.9 degrees in Dalhousie.
Keylong in Lahaul and Spiti district was the coldest place in Himachal on Friday, with a low of minus 10.9 degrees Celsius.
Meanwhile, thousands of holidaymakers have reached Himachal Pradesh to enjoy the Yuletide spirit and the footfalls of tourists are likely to continue till New Year's Eve, say members of the hospitality industry.
Snow is a big draw for tourists, especially those from the northern plains.
"We are going to extend our stay in Shimla due to the snow forecast," corporate executive Samara Chhabra from Chandigarh told IANS.
The mountain peaks visible from Shimla's historic Ridge are wrapped up in a thick white blanket of snow.
Popular tourist resorts of Manali as well as Shimla and nearby destinations of Kufri and Narkanda are receiving a fair share of tourists.