Woollens and heating system returned to Kashmir Valley on Friday after it witnessed heavy rainfall in the plains and season’s first snowfall in upper reaches.
Srinagar recorded 37.2 mm rainfall since Thursday evening till 8:30 am, pushing day temperature several notches down. Mercury hovered around 3.6 degrees Celsius against 9.1 degrees a night earlier in Srinagar, a Met official confirmed.
“There was sudden drop in temperature. Only yesterday I was wearing T-shirt and today I had to don woollens and switch on heating system in my office,” said Khalid Rehman, a bank employee.
Most people were seen wearing warm clothes in Srinagar, which witnessed intermittent rains through out the day, though the sun shined briefly in the afternoon. Many peaks visible from Srinagar city were capped with snow.
MeT officials said last night's temperature was only one degree below normal for this time of the year. In south Kashmir’s Qazigund area, temperatures touched close to freezing point in the night at 0.5 degrees Celsius.
Kokernag tourist resort in south Kashmir recorded the highest rainfall at 46.6 mm followed by Pahalgam and Qazigund areas at 38.2 mm each.
Several tourist destinations, including Gulamarg, witnessed season’s first snowfall. The other areas that witnessed first snowfall include Pahalgam, Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian and Qazigund. “Gulmarg recorded three inches of snow since morning," said weather department officials.
October has witnessed such a drop in temperature and snowfall in the past but, the MeT, officials said “it is a rare occurrence”.
Traffic on Srinagar-Leh highway was closed after heavy snowfall at Zojilla and Gumri on the Srinagar-Leh highway. Several vehicles, heading to Kargil and Leh, were halted in Kangan, 40 km from Srinagar.