Even as the snowfall has again eluded the Queen of Hills this Christmas, tourists and locals are hoping for a 'white new year', chances of which look bright in the wake of an overcast sky.
Shimla is burgeoning with tourists and hoteliers are doing a brisk business.
Meteorological department, Shimla, director, Manmohan Singh, said the approaching fresh western disturbances could bring in snowfall on December 27 and 28 and rain. He, however, said that the mercury was still 2-3 degrees above normal.
The weather department is flooded with calls from tourists, enquiring about the weather. "We have been receiving calls from southern part of the country," he said.
Shimla had in the years 2002 and 2010 witnessed white new years in the last decade.
Sahail Gupta, a tourist from Delhi, who is a frequent visitor to Shimla, said, "Last year we were not lucky enough to witness snowfall, though there were clouds, which had raised our hopes."
"The tourist influx has been good this winter season as compared to last year," said Shimla Hoteliers and Restaurant Association president Harnam Singh Kukreja.
He said, "Tourists have been calling up to know the possibility of snowfall. Cloudy weather will jack up the influx of tourists in the coming days."
The maximum temperature recorded in Shimla on Wednesday was 15.7 degree Celsius, while the minimum temperature stood at 5.3 degree Celsius.