Fresh snowfall occurred in the Kashmir Valley on Friday as the weather office said that inclement weather would continue in the state till Sunday.
“Light snowfall in the plains and moderate to heavy in the higher reaches occurred in the today. Weather is expected to remain inclement during the next 72 hours and this is likely to affect air and surface transport to and from the valley,” a MET Department official said.
Very few people moved out of their homes on Friday morning in Srinagar city and elsewhere as a white blanket of snow covered rooftops, roads and open spaces.
Srinagar recorded minus 1.0 degrees Celsius, Pahalgam minus 3.0 and Gulmarg minus 7.5 as the minimum temperatures on Friday.
Jammu and Kashmir is likely to receive snowfall in the next two days, which could help bring pollution down in neighbouring states.
“The snowfall accompanied by winds will bring down the particulate matter in the air to great extend,” Sonam Lotus, Director of the J&K Meteorological Department, told IANS.
“The active western disturbance and its interaction with cyclone MAHA, currently located in East Central Arabian Sea, is likely to cause moderate to heavy snowfall and rain in plains of J&K, and Ladakh during November 6-8. The snowfall will peak in the night on November 7,” MET said in a statement.
Lotus said early snowfall in happening for the second year in succession in Kashmir. “It’s good for agriculture, but could damage standing crops,” he said.
The MET has alerted the J&K administration about the likely disruption in road transport, especially through passes, like Zojilla, and on the Srinagar-Jammu-Leh-Manali Highway and Mughal road, due to landslides, low temperature and heavy snowfall.
The Jammu-Srinagar National Highway is the main link between Kashmir and the rest of the country.
Last year, the highway remained blocked for several days, cutting Kashmir from rest of the country and causing shortage of essentials in the Valley. Normally, the government stocks up essential supplies ahead of the winter, especially for areas like Tangdhar, Gurez and Ladakh. Most of these areas remain disconnected due to heavy snowfall.
Last year also, Kashmir witnessed snowfall in November. Normally, snowfall begins after November on the upper reaches of Kashmir. The 40-day peak winter season called ‘Chila-e-Kalan’ begins from December 20. Snowfall during the period last longer and is a major source for drinking water in summers.