Many areas in the higher reaches of Kashmir experienced fresh snowfall today even as an overcast sky led to relief from intense cold conditions as the mercury increased across the Valley and Ladakh region.
Meteorological (MeT) department has predicted widespread rains or snow over three days.
Fresh snowfall was recorded in Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Kupwara areas of Kashmir this morning, a MeT official here said. There were reports of snowfall in many other areas in the higher reaches of the Valley. The MeT Office has forecast fairly wide spread to wide spread rains or snow with heavy falls at isolated places over three days from today.
The weather forecast has prompted authorities to put in place a mechanism to respond quickly to any exigency arising out of snowfall, with the government warning its officials that any lapse in the snow clearance would not be tolerated and responsibility would be fixed in case of any complaints.
The warning comes in view of the severe criticism which the government faced after the authorities failed to clear most of the roads in the wake of heavy snowfall on January 6.
Owing to overcast sky, the night temperature across the Valley and Ladakh region improved by several degrees, providing relief to the residents from the intense cold conditions. Leh town, in Ladakh region, was the coldest recorded place in Jammu and Kashmir as the mercury there settled at a low of minus 13.7 degrees Celsius, which is over three degrees up from yesterday's minus 17.0 degrees Celsius.
Also, High altitude tribal areas and mountain passes received another spell of light snowfall on Sunday while the piercing cold wave sweeping most parts of Himachal Pradesh continued with some places shivering with mercury staying between minus 17 and 22 degree Celsius.
The local MeT had warned of heavy rains or snow at isolated places in mid and higher hills today and tomorrow due to a fresh western disturbance but no report of heavy snowfall or rains has so far been received from any part of the state.