Srinagar: The high altitude areas of Kashmir including the ski resort of Gulmarg experienced fresh snowfall today, while rains lashed Srinagar and other plains ending the brief respite from intense cold which had gripped the region.
It started snowing in Gulmarg and other high altitude areas this morning, while Srinagar and other plains were lashed by rains under the influence of fresh Western Disturbance which hit the state, a MET office spokesman said.
The Weather office has predicted moderate to rather heavy rains or snowfall at many places under the influence of this weather system till March 18.
"A fresh Western Disturbance over J&K and adjoining areas is likely to affect the state from March 15 to March 18. Under the influence of this weather system, moderate to rather heavy rain or snow would occur at many places on March 15 and 16 and at most places on March 17 and 18 in Jammu and Kashmir divisions," the spokesman said.
He said snowfall is also likely at a few places in Ladakh region particularly in Zojila, Drass and Kargil hilly areas.
"During the above period, heavy to very heavy rains or snowfall would occur at isolated places over the state. Thunder sqall accompanied by hailstorm is also likely at isolated places," the spokesman said.
The spokesman said Kargil in Ladakh region was the coldest recorded place in the state with a low of minus 8.2 degrees Celsius followed by nearby Leh town (minus 4.3).
In Kashmir Valley, Gulmarg in north Kashmir was the coldest place with a minimum of minus 1.6 degrees celsius, while the mercury in Srinagar registered some improvement with minimum temperature settling at 2.2 degrees Celsius compared to minus 3.0 degrees Celsius the previous night, the spokesman said.
Most parts of Jammu and Kashmir were battered by heavy snowfall and rains early this week resulting in death of 17 persons and damage to thousands of houses and other structures.
Meanwhile, a traffic department spokesman said one-way traffic on Srinagar-Jammu national highway - the only road linking Kashmir with rest of the country - was plying smoothly.
"The Jammu-bound vehicles were allowed from here this morning and so far there was no report of disruption on the movement of the vehicles," the spokesman said.
He said authorities are monitoring the weather situation on hourly basis to ensure that no vehicle remains stranded on the highway.
The highway was opened for one-way traffic yesterday after remaining closed due to the recent heavy snowfall.