SRINAGAR: The Srinagar-Jammu National Highway was closed for traffic on Saturday owing to landslides and fresh snowfall in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said, adding that the 270-km road has been blocked at multiple places.
“Jammu-Srinagar NHW closed for vehicular movement due to landslides, shooting stones at many places on the highway and snow accumulation around the NAVYUG Tunnel,” said traffic police in a statement.
There were fresh rains and snowfall in many parts of the union territory during the intervening night of Friday and Saturday. Earlier, rains were also witnessed on Friday.
Director, meteorological centre of J&K, Sonam Lotus said that there are chances that widespread light to moderate rain and snow will continue on Saturday.
“There is prediction of weather remaining partly to generally cloudy till March 2. There is no forecast of any significant weather for next 5 days,” he said.
The MeT centre in an update in the morning said that 16 cm of snow was recorded in south Kashmir’s Pahalgam resort and 15.2 cm in north Kashmir’s Gulmarg resort in the past 24 hours till 8:30 on Saturday morning. Jammu’s Banihal saw 12 cm snowfall.
Qazigund, the gateway into Kashmir from Jammu, witnessed a maximum of 28.2 mm rain while it was 37.6 mm in Banihal, the gateway into Jammu from Kashmir.
On Wednesday, there was widespread snowfall in Kashmir and rains in Jammu which caused large-scale disruptions, including blocking the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, suspending flights at Srinagar Airport, halting train services between Banihal and Baramulla and forcing the authorities to cancel examinations. Since then, mild rains have continued intermittently.
Temperatures dropped to below zero in a few weather stations in Kashmir.
The lowest night temperature on Saturday in Kashmir was recorded in the northern ski resort of Gulmarg, where mercury dropped to -7.5°C. The resort of Pahalgam in south Kashmir recorded -0.8°C. Mercury settled at 1.8°C in summer capital Srinagar during the night, while it was -0.2°C in south Kashmir’s Qazigund.
The day temperatures on Friday dropped considerably.
Gulmarg recorded a lowest of -0.5°C while Srinagar saw highest 6.7°C, a departure of 4.4 degrees from the normal.
The valley is currently passing through the last phase of winter called Chilla Bache, which will end by the end of this month.