At -9.7°C, Pahalgam sees record cold night, One-way traffic allowed on National Highway

As the cold wave tightened its grip over the Kashmir valley, a famous tourist resort in south Kashmir recorded its coldest December night of the decade as the minimum temperature there plummeted nearly 10 degrees below the freezing point.
An official of the Srinagar Meteorological Centre said the overnight minimum temperature in Pahalgam resort, a tourist spot in south Kashmir famous for its picturesque landscape of meadows and a roaring stream, was recorded at -9.7° Celsius.

The overnight minimum temperature in Pahalgam was the lowest in more than a decade even as the Kashmir valley is still in the early phase of winter. The core period of winter, which lasts 40 days and is known as “chillai kalan” in local parlance, will begin next week.

The extraordinarily freezing temperature in Pahalgam last night has beaten the coldest December temperature of the decade recorded there when mercury had plunged to -9.6° on December 27, 2013.

The last year’s coldest night temperature in December was recorded at -3.4° Celsius while the all-time low in Pahalgam was -15.7° Celsius in 1986.

Another famous tourist resort in north Kashmir, Gulmarg, registered a freezing -11° Celsius, six degrees below the average for this time of the year. coldest December night recorded in Gulmarg during the past decade was -12.4° Celsius in 2015.

Even as Valley experienced rain and snowfall, authorities allowed one-way traffic on Jammu-Srinagar Highway on Thursday evening and over 3000 stranded vehicles including Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) were allowed to ply on the highway.
The upper reaches of the Valley received fresh snowfall while plains including Srinagar witnessed intermittent rain.
Many stretches on Srinagar-Jammu highway including include Qazigund, Shaitan Nallah and Banihal received snowfall throughout the night while Ramban and Ramsu experienced rainfall.
The Srinagar-Jammu Highway, which was closed for vehicular traffic yesterday afternoon due to snowfall and landslides, was opened for clearance of stranded vehicles.
“We are clearing the stranded vehicles on the highway,” Senior Superintendent of Police Traffic (Rural) Muzaffar Ahmad Shah told Kashmir Post.
He said after all stranded vehicles are cleared, the highway can be opened for traffic.
Inspector General of Traffic Police, Alok Puri, told Kashmir Post that all stranded load carriers would be allowed to move towards their respective destination tomorrow.
“Today, we have cleared all the stranded vehicles and allowed them to move towards Kashmir. One-way traffic has been allowed on highway due to inclement weather conditions,” he said.
About 3,000 vehicles including trucks and oil tankers were stranded on both sides of the Jawahar Tunnel.
The Mughal road, connecting Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region, remained closed for fourth consecutive day today.
The Srinagar-Leh highway, connecting the Valley with Ladakh region, is also closed for traffic due to snow accumulation at Zojilla.
The MeT official said Srinagar recorded a low of 0.1 degrees Celsius on Wednesday night, the MeT official said.
He said Qazigund recorded a low of – 0.2 degrees Celsius while Kokernag town recorded a low of minus 1.2 degrees Celsius.
In Kupwara, the mercury settled at minus 2.8 degrees Celsius, the official said.