Fresh snowfall in parts of the Kashmir Valley on Saturday further plummeted day temperature, spurring a cold wave across the state. It also affected the surface and the air traffic in Srinagar.
Fresh snowfall took place on the intervening night of December 28-29 in upper reaches of both north and south Kashmir, besides central Kashmir.
To the jubilation of tourists, arriving in Srinagar for new year, winter hot-spots of Gulmarg and Tangmarg recorded 10 to 12 inches and 5 to 6 inches of snowfall respectively.
While north Kashmir's Rafiabad recorded four inches of snowfall, south Kashmir's Hirpora recorded 24 inches of snowfall, highest for the night. At least 16 areas in north and south Kashmir recorded snow between four to 26 inches. (see box)
In Srinagar, there was mix of rain and snow during the night, while it was raining intermittently in the day.
In the past 24 hours, Srinagar recorded maximum of six degree Celsius and a minimum of .8 degree Celsius.
The inclement weather forced cancellation of a few flights in Srinagar due to poor visibility. Two flights of Spicejet, one flight each of Go-Air, Jet Airways and the Army chartered plane got cancelled. "In view of poor visibility, no civil flight operated till 1pm from Srinagar airport. Later civil flights operated," said Amir Ali, spokesman of the state disaster management cell.
The government has decided to fly IL-76 air force flight between Leh-Jammu-Leh on December 30 for stranded passengers of Kargil.
The Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, only surface link between the Valley and the rest of the country, was also blocked during the night due to snowfall. "It was reopened for traffic and only stranded vehicles were allowed to move," said Ali.
In the wake of fresh snowfall, the government has issued fresh medium danger avalanche warning to people living in Tangdhar, Chowkibal, Keran, Machil, Gurez, Tuleil, Sonamarg, Drass and higher reaches of Uri and Gulmarg for the next 24 hours.
"People are advised not to venture in avalanche-prone areas," said Ali.
The meteorological department in Srinagar forecast snowfall in upper reaches of the valley in the next 24 hours. "However, there are chances weather will be dry for some time after next 24 hours," said a Met official.
Gulmarg: 10 to 12 inches
Tangmarg: 5 to 6 inches
Rafiabad: 4 to 6 inches
Shoipan town: 12 inches
Sedav and Hirpora: 24 to 26 inches
Keller: 12 to 14 inches
DH Pora: 8 to 10 inches
Aharbal: 24 to 26 inches
Yusmarg: 22 to 24 inches
Khansahib: 12 to 14 inches
Khag: 14 to 16 inches
Arizal: 15 to 18 inches
Nilnag Gogjipatri: 24 inches
Pakherpora: 12 to 15 inches
Kullen Razen: 8 inches
Gurez: 5 to 6 inches.