It's time for the people of Kashmir to bring out their traditional Pheren (tweed over garment) Kangris (fire-pot oven in a basket of willow wicker) wishing each other Sheen Mubarak (Happy Snowfall). The higher reaches of the Valley received a fresh spell of snowfall of the season on Wednesday, November 6. This was the first fall in the inhabited areas of the valley, including Gulmarg and Sonamarg tourist resorts.
According to India Meteorological Department reports, the winter chill has set in early this year. Meanwhile, the maximum temperature during the last couple of days has settled a couple of degrees below normal for this time of the season, making it even more pleasant. Currently, the day temperature of Srinagar is 7-12 degrees against an average of 18 degrees average at this time every year.
Jammu & Kashmir: Srinagar receives season's first snowfall pic.twitter.com/cBH9VgWLdD
— ANI (@ANI) December 12, 2017
The plains were lashed by rain, bringing down the mercury by more than 10 degrees. The downpour in the plains has significantly brought down the day temperature in the city. Heavy snowfall has already started in Sonamarg and at the ski resort of Gulmarg while heavy rains lashed the valley during the previous night. Due to the winds blowing from the Mediterranean Sea which is also known as the western disturbance, the Valley has received this precipitation.
Met department reports
According to the MET department, "Snowfall was witnessed in higher reaches of Kashmir valley including Gulmarg and Sonamarg in the wee hours while the city and other plains were lashed by rainfall." While the maximum temperature recorded on Tuesday, November 5 was 18.6 degrees Celsius, the city recorded just 5.6 degrees Celsius at 3.30 pm on Wednesday, November 6.
The local Met office on issued an adverse weather advisory forecasting heavy to very heavy snowfall in Jammu and Kashmir that is likely to disrupt surface and air traffic during the next three days. Following the weather advisory, a high-level meeting was held by the provincial administration to alert all disaster management machinery at the district level across the valley. "The administration is ready to deal with any adverse weather condition and all concerned officials have been alerted at the provincial and the district levels," a senior officer of the provincial administration said.
Smooth highway & road operations
According to the officials, despite the heavy rains, the traffic on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway is going smooth but the commuters have been advised to avoid traveling via roadways to avoid the occurrence of any accident. "Due to the adverse weather conditions during the next two to three days, air and surface traffic is likely to be disrupted during this period. Surface transport between the Kashmir valley and the Ladakh region is likely to be disrupted because of heavy snowfall at the Zojila Pass."
The traffic between the valley and the Jammu region is also likely to be affected especially through the Mughal Road. Nevertheless, between the Jawahar Tunnel and Ramban, the movement of heavy vehicles was restricted to one-way while light motor vehicles are moving on the usual two ways on the 300-km highway. This all-weather road connects Kashmir to the rest of the country.
Flights impacted due to low visibility:
Due to changes in the snowfall flight services to Srinagar have been hit. According to reports two flights have been canceled while serval others remain delayed due to low visibility conditions and congestion. Vistara airlines and other airlines took to their official social media handles to update their travelers. Here is a statement issued by the Vistara airline schedule for Srinagar.