Shimla, Manali get first snowfall of the season

A white Sunday greeted Shimlaites, with the entire town and its suburbs covered under a thin blanket of snow.Residents braved biting cold wave conditions to enjoy the snow even as high velocity icy winds swept the region.

Shimla received snow in the third week of December after a gap of 21 years. It usually receives snow towards end of December or in January. The resort town received 10 cm of snow and recorded minimum temperature at 0.2 degrees Celsius.

Vehicular traffic was disrupted in the morning in upper Shimla area and scores of vehicles were stranded between Dhalli and Narkanda.

Kinnaur and Rampur-bound buses were diverted via Basantpur-Kingal highway while Manali-Leh national highway was closed beyond Manali.

The high-altitude tribal areas of Lahaul and Spiti, Kinnaur, Pangi and Bharmaur and adjoining valley areas reeled under biting cold wave conditions as mercury dipped and stayed between -8 degrees Celsius and -16 degrees Celsius after intermittent snowfall.

The sprawling Dhauladhar ranges, donning a mantle of snow, presented a dazzling view while Kangra valley and other lower hills received widespread heavy rains.

Kangra was wettest in the region with 55 mm of rains till this afternoon while Dharamsala and Chamba recored 45 mm and 40 mm of rains respectively, followed by Nahan - 25 mm, Sundernagar - 20 mm, Bilaspur and Solan - 15 mm each, Bhuntar - 14 mm and Hamirpur - 12 mm.

The rains and snow provided some relief from fog to people in towns along river banks in lower hills as minimum temperature rose marginally. Jakkoo, Kufri, Fagu and Narkanda recorded 25 to 40 cm of snow till evening.

Manali received 30 cm of snow while Rohtang Pass, Kunzam Pass, Dhauladhar and Churdhar ranges and other higher reaches experienced intermittent heavy snowfall.

Manali recorded minimum temperature at -1.2 degrees Celsius while Nahan and Palampur recorded a low of 3.5 degrees Celsius and 4.0 degrees Celsius respectively, followed by Solan - 5.0 deg C, Una - 5.2 deg C, Bhuntar - 5.2 deg C, Sundernagar - 6.4 deg C and Dharamsala - 7.2 degrees Celsius.

Chail, Kufri and Narkanda tourist resorts received intermittent snowfall while areas surrounding Shimla and Manali also experienced first snowfall.

Adjoining resorts of Kufri, Wild Flower Hall and Fagu experienced moderate snowfall since early morning.
The rains brought cheer to farmers in mid and lower hills as it is beneficial for sowing wheat.

The maximum temperatures plummeted due to rains and snow and Shimla recorded a high of 3.1 degrees Celsius, while Solan had a maximum of 10.0 degrees Celsius, eight notches below normal.

Bhuntar recorded a day temperature of 7.1 degrees Celsius and Dharamsala and Nahan recorded a high of 11.4 degrees and 12.7 degrees respectively, five notches below normal.
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