SRINAGAR SOAKED, GULMARG GLITTERS | J&K’s rollercoaster weather ride continues

Srinagar, Feb 19: For the second consecutive day on Monday, heavy rains continued in Srinagar and other plains of Kashmir while the higher altitudes including Gulmarg experienced significant snowfall on Monday while the Meteorological Department (MeT) predicted more precipitation during the next 24 hour.

The MeT warned of an “extended wet spell” across Jammu and Kashmir until Wednesday afternoon. It predicted light to moderate rain and snow in most places, including plains and lower reaches from February 19 to 20.

The wet spell could lead to flashfloods in hilly areas, landslides, and disruption of essential services like power and water supply. After being deprived of snow until January, this has been the second heavy snowfall in February. The heavy snowfall has forced the closure of all highways including the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway.

Landslides at various locations along the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway have blocked the road and travellers have been advised to avoid travel on the highway until conditions improve.

The Gulmarg ski resort witnessed about 2 feet of fresh snow.

The resort is experiencing 100 percent occupancy as tourists flock to the area.

Gulmarg is also preparing to host the 4th National Khelo India Winter Games from February 21 with athletes arriving from across the country.

Srinagar received 12.4 mm of rain in the 24 hours leading up to 8:30 am on Monday and recorded a low of 2 degrees Celsius compared to 5.8 degrees Celsius the previous night.

The temperature was 1 degree Celsius above the normal for this time of year. Gulmarg received a significant 40 cm snow and a low of minus 2.8 degrees Celsius, which was 4 degrees Celsius above normal.

Qazigund received 12.8 mm of rain with a minimum temperature of 3.6 degrees Celsius, which was 3.7 degrees Celsius above normal.

Pahalgam resort received 18.6 mm of rain and recorded a low of 0.8 degrees Celsius, which was 5.2 degrees Celsius above normal.

Kokernag resort received 8 mm of rain and recorded a minimum of 3.5 degrees Celsius, which was 4.4 degrees Celsius above normal.

Kupwara town received 42.7 mm of rain and recorded a low of minus 0.1 degree Celsius, which was 2 degrees Celsius above normal. Jammu received 4.9 mm of rain and recorded a minimum of 13.8 degrees Celsius, which was above normal by 3.3 degrees Celsius.

The weatherman has forecast an extended wet spell in J&K until February 21 afternoon.

From February 19 to 20, there is a possibility of light to moderate rain and snow at most places in the plains and lower reaches with the possibility of heavy snowfall over middle and higher reaches of various districts.

From February 21, there is a possibility of light to moderate snow at many places till afternoon with gradual improvement thereafter.

In Jammu division, there is a possibility of intermittent light to moderate rain with thunder and lightning in plains and light to moderate snowfall over higher reaches from February 19 to 20.

On February 21, light to moderate snow, rain, thunder, and lightning is expected over many places until late evening with gradual improvement thereafter.

The MeT issued an advisory stating that the weather system might lead to temporary closure of roads in higher reaches and important passes.

The travellers have been advised to plan accordingly.

The farmers are advised to manage irrigation and fertiliser application and drain out excess water from orchards and fields during this period.

J&K State Disaster Management Authority (JKDMA) issued a low-danger level avalanche warning on Sunday for Anantnag and Kulgam districts for the next 24 hours. The warning said that the avalanches were likely above 2500 metres over the Anantnag and Kulgam districts.

The JKDMA also issued a warning of an avalanche with a medium danger level over Doda, Kishtwar, Poonch, Ramban, Bandipore, Baramulla, Kupwara, and Ganderbal districts in the next 24 hours.

“Avalanche with a low danger level is likely to occur above 2500 metres over Anantnag and Kulagam districts in the next 24 hours. Avalanche with a medium danger level is likely to occur above 2200 metres over Doda, Kishtwar, Poonch, Ramban, and Bandipore,” JKDMA posted on X. The JKDMA has advised the people living in these areas to take precautions and avoid venturing into the avalanche-prone areas.

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