Srinagar: Fresh snowfall across Kashmir in the wee hours of Tuedsay brought much needed respite from the cold wave to the Valley residents and cheer for New Year revelers.
The 300-long Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, the only surface link between Kashmir and rest of the country was today shut for vehicular traffic due to snowfall, a spokesman of the traffic police said.
Snowfall began in Srinagar city and other parts of the Valley in the wee hours today, bringing down the mercury by several degrees across Kashmir.
Pahalgam witnessed highest snowfall so far as around 200 millimetres (over 6 inches) of snow had accumulated till 8.30 AM, a MeT office spokesman said.
Nearly two inches of snow had accumulated in Srinagar, Qazigund, Kupwara and Kokernag till 8.30 AM, he added.
Gulmarg also witnessed light snowfall since this morning.
The snowfall brought respite to the people who were reeling under cold conditions as the mercury rose by several degrees. Hundreds of tourists, who have arrived in the Valley to usher in the New Year, rejoiced at the snowfall.
Many tourists were seen capturing the rare moment of snowfall in their cameras and mobile phones as `snow men` sprang up in many parts of the city and in the Valley.
Srinagar city witnessed nearly four degree jump in night temperature as the mercury settled at minus 1.4 degrees Celsius as compared to minus 5.3 degree Celsius last night.
The minimum temperature in Pahalgam settled at minus 6.6 degrees Celsius, up from minus 9.0 degrees Celsius previous night.
The weather in Ladakh region, however, remained dry but the minimum temperature rose by several degrees in Leh town to settle at minus 12.0 degrees Celsius as compared to previous night`s minus 17.7 degrees Celsius.
Meanwhile, the snowfall has thrown normal life out of gear in the Valley.
Massive traffic jams were witnessed in many parts of the city and other major towns of the Valley as the snow clearance grid was caught off guard by the heavy snowfall in the wee hours.
The traffic on vital Srinagar airport road was also moving at snail`s pace.