Kashmir Valley receives snowfall, heavy rains

Snowfall in the high altitude areas and heavy rains in plains on Tuesday brought down the mercury across the Kashmir Valley.

Updated: Apr 16, 2013, 16:58 PM IST

Srinagar: Snowfall in the high altitude areas and heavy rains in plains on Tuesday brought down the mercury across the Kashmir Valley, forcing the denizens to look for woolens once again for warmth.

The snowfall and the rains also prompted the authorities to suspend vehicular traffic on 434-km Srinagar-Leh national highway - the only road linking frontier region of Ladakh with the state, while the traffic on arterial Srinagar-Jammu road remained unaffected, officials said.

It started snowing in the higher reaches of the Valley, including the 11,578 ft high Zojila pass along the strategic Srinagar-Leh highway late last night followed by heavy rains across Kashmir including summer capital Srinagar in the wee hours, they said.

The highway was thrown open for light vehicles earlier this month after remaining closed for winter months due to heavy snowfall.

Reports of snowfall was also received from peripheral areas of the famous ski resort of Gulmarg, Razdan pass, Z-Gali and Sadna top in north and Amarnath cave shrine and adjoining areas in the periphery of famous hill resort of Pahalgam in south Kashmir, the officials said.

Rains and snow also lashed Pahalgam and Gulmarg. While Pahalgam recorded 44.8 mm rain and snow during the last 24 hours till 2.30 pm, Gulmarg recorded 28.0 mm of rains and snow by 8.30 am today, a spokesman of the MET office said.

He said Srinagar recorded 38.4 mm rains during the last 24 hours till 2.30 PM today, while Qazigund on Srinagar-Jammu national highway recorded 30.2 mm rains and Kupwara 30.5 mm.

The snowfall in the upper reaches and heavy rains in the plains led the mercury to drop across the Valley, prompting the residents to wear woolens which they have discorded earlier this month owing improvement in the temperatures.

The heavy rains led to increase in the water level of rivers, lakes, ponds and streams but there was no threat of immediate floods in the Valley, the officials said.

However, the drop in the temperatures caused concern among the farming community, especially orchardists, who fear the change in the weather might affect their crops particularly almond and cherry which are in full bloom.

The rains have also resulted in water-logging in many parts of the city, especially in the commercial hub of Lal Chowk and surrounding areas.