Many areas in the higher reaches of Kashmir experienced fresh snowfall on Sunday 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.
He said while one centimetre of snow was recorded in Kupwara where it started to snow during the night, the twin tourist resorts of Gulmarg and Pahalgam received snowfall this morning.
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 on Sunday.
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.
Srinagar, which had experienced the coldest night of the season on Saturday as the mercury settled at a low of -6.8 degrees, recorded a low of -2.3 degrees Celsius last night which is an increase of over four degrees, the MeT official said.
According to a weather portal www.skymetweather.com, the Indian base research camp in Antarctica named Bharati recorded a minimum temperature of -2.2°C, making Srinagar even colder than the ice-bound polar region.
Leh town, in Ladakh region, was the coldest recorded place in Jammu and Kashmir as the mercury there settled at a low of -13.7 degrees Celsius, which is over three degrees up from Saturday’s -17.0 degrees Celsius.
The nearby Kargil town registered a low of -10 degrees Celsius, an increase of over five degrees from -15.6 degrees Celsius the previous night, the official said.
Gulmarg, the famous ski-resort in north Kashmir, recorded a low of -10.5 degrees Celsius, up nearly four degrees from -14.4 degrees Celsius the previous night.
The mercury in Pahalgam hill resort, in south Kashmir, went up nearly eight degrees from the previous night’s -12.0 degrees Celsius to settle at the low of -4.6 degrees Celsius.
Kokernag, in south Kashmir, registered a low of -4.7 degrees Celsius, while Kupwara town in north Kashmir recorded a low of -2.8 degrees Celsius, the official said.
He said the mercury in Qazigund town in south Kashmir settled at a low of -4.6 degrees Celsius.