Parts of J&K witness fresh snowfall, Srinagar-Jammu highway closed

There was fresh snowfall in parts of Jammu and Kashmir including in summer capital Srinagar on Tuesday, leading to the closure of the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, officials said.
Weather officials said there was fresh snowfall mostly in parts of the Pirpanjal range in Jammu and Kashmir divisions owing to a retreating western disturbance—winds blowing from the Mediterranean.“We were expecting the weather system to retreat on Monday but a part of it returned, bringing snow in Pirpanjal range affecting Jammu, south and central Kashmir ,” said meteorologist M Hussain Mir at the Srinagar-based MeT Department.He said Kishtwar, Bhaderwah, Batote and Banihal in Jammu, and Jawahar Tunnel to Srinagar in Kashmir received fresh snowfall.He said Gulmarg in north Kashmir received the highest precipitation in the past two days, recording 22cm of snowfall followed by 13.4cm in Bhaderwah.“The system did not affect rest of north Kashmir, “ he said.Mir said that the weather will improve in the afternoon. “The weather will remain fine up to January 3-4 “ he said.The minimum night temperature in Srinagar was zero degree Celsius and was recorded in Gulmarg at -7.5 degrees Celsius.The temperature had dipped in the night to -1.9 degrees Celsius in Jammu’s Bhaderwah while it was -1.5 degrees Celsius in Batote and 0.4 degrees Celsius in Banihal. Jammu was relatively warmer at 3.7 degrees Celsius.Officials said traffic on the Srinagar-Jammu Highway was halted due to the snowfall.“Jammu-Srinagar National Highway was closed after fresh snowfall,” a traffic official said.The 40-day intense winter period “chillai kalan” began in Kashmir Valley on December 21 with sub-zero night temperatures across the region.This year, winter has already started on a harsh note as the temperature dropped to a record -6.6 degree Celsius in summer capital Srinagar on December 19, the lowest temperature of the season and the second-coldest December night in the past decade.

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