At -9.5 degrees Gulmarg coldest in Kashmir

Higher reaches of Jammu and Kashmir received fresh snow on Thursday while the plains witnessed intermittent rain as the minimum temperature settled below the freezing point at most places in the Valley and Ladakh region.

Snow has been recorded in the higher areas of the Valley like Qazigund, Kokernag, Pahalgam and Mughal Road during the night, MeT officials said.

There are reports of snow in other areas in the higher reaches of the Valley and Jammu region as well, including near the Jawahar tunnel on Srinagar-Jammu highway, they said.
However, the plains in the Valley, including Srinagar, received intermittent rain overnight which continued on Thursday morning in some areas, the officials said.

The snow and rain have led to closure of traffic on vital roads, including the Srinagar-Jammu national highway.

The nearly 300-km-long highway was closed for traffic on Wednesday following accumulation of snow on both sides of the Jawahar tunnel, an official of the Traffic Control Room said.

He said subject to fair weather and clearance of the road, the vehicles which were stranded on Wednesday would be cleared first on Thursday.

Mughal Road, which is an alternative route connecting the Valley with Jammu region, remained closed for traffic due to snow.

The Srinagar-Leh national highway, connecting the Valley with the Ladakh region, is also closed for traffic due to snow accumulation at Zojilla.

Meanwhile, the Valley and Ladakh region, except Srinagar, witnessed sub-zero night temperature on Wednesday night.

Srinagar city recorded a low of 0.1 degrees Celsius on Wednesday night, compared to the previous night’s 0.2 degrees Celsius, the MeT officials said.

They said Qazigund–the gateway town to the Valley–recorded a low of minus 0.2 degrees Celsius while the nearby Kokernag town recorded a low of minus 1.2 degrees Celsius.

Kupwara in north Kashmir saw the mercury settling at minus 2.8 degrees Celsius, the officials said.

They said Pahalgam registered a low of minus 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Gulmarg, the famous skiing resort in north Kashmir, saw the mercury dipping to a minimum of minus 9.5 degrees Celsius on Wednesday night–which was colder than Leh and Kargil.

Gulmarg was the coldest recorded place in the state.

Leh town in Ladakh region recorded a minimum temperature of minus 8.9 degrees Celsius, while the mercury in the nearby Kargil town settled at a low of minus 9.3 degrees Celsius, the officials said.

The MeT Office has said that the weather is likely to improve from Thursday and would stay mainly dry over the next few days.