Srinagar: Moderate to heavy snowfall began across Kashmir this afternoon, bringing relief to the residents from dry weather.
The Srinagar-Jammu national highway was closed on Friday as a precautionary measure as the road was rendered slippery due to fresh snowfall, a traffic department official said.
The minimum temperature was minus 3.2 degree Celsius in Srinagar while it was minus 6.8 and minus 10 in Pahalgam and Gulmarg respectively.
An India Meteorological Department (IMD) official said moderate rain and snow is likely to occur in Jammu and Kashmir from Friday evening.
“Inclement weather during the next 48 hours can affect surface connectivity between the Valley and outside,” the official said.
According to Kashmir Reader, Kargil town recorded minus 18.6 degree, the lowest in this season so far. Leh recorded a minimum temperature of minus 14.5 degree.
“It has been snowing across Kashmir since afternoon. The men and machinery have been geared up for timely clearance of roads and ensuring minimal disruption in essential services,” an official of the divisional administration said.
Vehicular movement has been stopped on the highway and a decision on resuming the traffic will be taken only after improvement in the weather conditions, the traffic department official said.
Although there was a brief spell of snowfall Wednesday, the fresh downpour has effectively ended the dry weather conditions in the valley which had led to an increase in common ailments like flu, cough and breathing problems, especially among children and elderly.
The snowfall has brought cheer to many associated with the tourism trade, who say more tourists will now visit Kashmir.
“A good number of tourists had already arrived in Kashmir for New Year eve, but we are hopeful that the footfall will now increase in view of the snowfall,” Shoiab Ahmad, a tour operator, said.
He said good snowfall will also ensure more winter sports lovers will head to Kashmir as “we have the best skiing slopes in the country at Gulmarg”.