Winter is here! Snow-covered hills of Kashmir, Manali await you

Winter is here! Snow-covered hills of Kashmir, Manali await you
Heavy snowfall was seen at Sonamarg, Gulmarg, Pahalgam, both sides of the Jawahar Tunnel on the Jammu-Kashmir National Highway and in the Pir Panjal range. Photo: IANS
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Srinagar/ Shimla: Jammu and Kashmir's summer capital Srinagar and other plains of the valley received the season's first snowfall on Saturday as higher reaches continued to receive heavy snowfall.

Heavy snowfall was seen at Sonamarg, Gulmarg, Pahalgam, both sides of the Jawahar Tunnel on the Jammu-Kashmir National Highway and in the Pir Panjal range.

Traffic slowed down in Srinagar city as the roads became slippery. Traffic jams were seen at a number of places as poor visibility impeded the movement of vehicles.

Flight operations at the Srinagar International Airport were suspended for the day due to poor visibility and snow accumulation on the runway.

There are reports of damage to several apple orchards in the valley due to untimely snowfall.

The weather office has forecast improvement in weather conditions from Sunday onwards.

Hills nearby Manali see snow

Snowfall was seen in the hills overlooking the Himachal Pradesh picturesque tourist resort of Manali on Sunday with the minimum temperature recorded at 2.8 degrees Celsius, according to the weather office.

"Hills overlooking Manali, including the Solang ski slopes, experienced moderate spells of snow in the past 24 hours," an official at the meteorological office here told IANS.

The Rohtang Pass, located at an altitude of 13,050 feet and 52 km from Manali, has accumulated a fair amount of snow, hampering the movement of traffic towards the Lahaul Valley.

He said picturesque Kalpa, some 250 km from Shimla, experienced 21.2 cm of snow.

"High-altitude areas of Lahaul and Spiti, Chamba, Kullu and Kinnaur districts had experienced snow," the official said.

Keylong in Lahaul and Spiti district was the coldest in the state with a low of minus 2.1 degrees Celsius, while it was minus 0.6 degrees in Kalpa, 9.8 degrees in Dharamsala and 7.9 degrees in the state capital Shimla.

As news of the snowfall flashed across the plains, tourists started arriving at Manali and the nearby hills.

The state's lower areas, including Dharamsala, Solan, Nahan, Chamba and Mandi have been experiencing cold climatic conditions after rainfall.

The weatherman said the weather would now remain dry as the western disturbances receded from the region.

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