MeT predicts Rains, Snow from today, Caught off guard, Valley braces up for harsh winter

The weatherman has predicted light to moderate rainfall in plains and snowfall in upper reaches of Kashmir on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Director Meteorological (MeT) department, Sonum Lotus said that there is possibility of light to moderate rainfall in the plains including Srinagar on Tuesday and Wednesday.
“The plains will not experience snowfall,” he said adding there is a forecast of light snowfall in higher reaches.
Lotus said weather would remain wet till November 14 and weather conditions would improve from November 15 morning.
He said the snowfall in upper reaches would not be heavy as it was last week.
Earlier on November 4-5, the plans and higher reaches experienced season’s first snowfall that resulted in blockade of roads and disrupted the power supply across the Valley.

Even as the premature snowfall in the Kashmir valley earlier this month caught the government napping, residents are now apprehensive about the harsh winter ahead. Though the government is claiming that it is prepared for the winter season, residents are already complaining about the erratic power supply and soaring prices of essentials.
“We are still more than a month away from peak winter, but we are already being subjected to power cuts. If this is the situation now, blackouts are bound to occur in December and January. For the past couple of days, we have been receiving calls from different parts of the city that they are without electricity. Unfortunately, despite hardships, the state authorities have been issuing statements everyday that everything is under control,” said Aijaz Shahdhar, vice-chairman of the Kashmir Economic Alliance.
However, the authorities said the power supply was affected due to pruning of trees that was being carried out as a precautionary measure in case of heavy snowfall. Premature snowfall on November 3 had damaged trees across the Valley. The fallen trees and branches had added to the damage to the power lines.
“Due to pruning of trees near power lines, there is a (power) shutdown in some areas. This is being done to preempt large scale damage in the event of snowfall in winter,” said Syed Abid Rasheed, Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar.
Other main issue facing the residents in winter is the rise in prices of eatables, especially vegetables and chicken, which happens due to frequent closure of the Srinagar-Jammu national highway — Kashmir’s only surface link to the rest of the country. Inaccurate weather predictions are also bothering people.
“Whenever the highway is shut or one-way traffic is in place, prices of vegetables and chicken shoots up. While the government generally fails to implement market prices even in summers, it should ensure prompt clearance of the roads and highway. Moreover, there was no prediction of snowfall in Srinagar when inclement weather hit us badly on November 3. Even the MeT office admitted that it could not forecast,” said Abdul Rashid, a resident.
Sonum Lotus, director, meteorological department, said it was after a decade that Srinagar city had witnessed a snowfall in November. Though snowfall in November is usually light and not heavy as witnessed earlier this month, Lotus said the last snow spell was a “record of sorts” as a similar snowfall had last been witnessed in 1986.
He also predicted inclement weather for the next two days.
Peerzada Haffizullah, commissioner, Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC), said they were prepared if the city received another snowfall. He said the SMC officials concerned had been asked to ensure that 80 de-watering stations with 115 mobile pumping units were kept fully functional to meet any eventuality.
A senior official said the government would procure additional 15 snow-clearing machines and 22 bulldozers.