Rishyap gets hailstorm and light snowfall

Hills to receive rains & snow on Christmas

Rishyap gets hailstorm and light snowfall

DARJEELING: Hailstorm and very light snowfall in Rishyap, Kalimpong heralded in expectations of a white Christmas. Even Nathula in Sikkim witnessed snowfall on Wednesday.

The day saw overcast skies in Rishyap at an altitude of 2591m. At around 1:30pm on Wednesday, there was a sudden hailstorm followed by very light snowfall. Tourists were ecstatic as Rishyap, 22 km from Kalimpong turned white. "This is the first time I'm witnessing snowfall. I'm so happy. I plan to extend my stay," stated Rama Biswas, a tourist from Kolkata.

"Usually we have tourists during the Christmas and New Year time. We have snowfall too around New Year. With news reaching the plains, there was a huge number of enquiries for hotel bookings. We expect a huge tourist inflow," stated Santanu Banerjee, a hotelier of Rishyap. On the other hand, Darjeeling witnessed clear blue skies with the majestic Kanchenjunga in the backdrop. Snow has remained elusive at Sandakphu at 12000 feet also.

However, it snowed at Nathula (14,140 feet) and along with higher reaches of Sikkim. The met office forecast is of rain and snow in the Hills during Christmas and on December 29 and 30.

"Owing to frequent passage of western disturbances Sikkim will witness rain and snow in higher reaches on December 24 and 25. Similar weather will prevail in Darjeeling on December 29 and 30 with rain and snow in higher reaches," stated Dr. Gopi Nath Raha, IMD, Gangtok.

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