Reeling under intense cold, Shimla in himachal Pradesh received the season’s first snowfall on Wednesday. Popularly called ‘queen of the hills’, the famous hill-town received around 1 cm snowfall in the afternoon.
Along with Shimla, Kufri, Chharabra and other high-altitude areas of the state in Kinnaur and Kullu district also received a spell of snow. Vehicular traffic in Kufri and Shimla town was disrupted for some time due to bad weather.
The meteorological department had predicted snow and rains in mid and high-altitude hills for Wednesday while dry weather is expected in the coming two days. “Weather is expected to remain dry in next 24 to 48 hours across the state,” Shimla meteorological centre director Manmohan Singh said, adding that rain and snow is predicted on December 26 and 27.
In the last 24 hours, both minimum and maximum temperature in Shimla has fallen by 1 to 2 °Celsius. Shimla experienced the coldest night of the season with the night temperature falling to -0.2 °Celsius. Sundernagar freezed at 0.6 °Celsius, Bhuntar at 1 °Celsius while Kalpa went sub-zero at -4.4 °Celsius. The temperature at Dharamshala was 5.4 °Celsius, -2 ° Celsius in Una, 6.2 °Celsius in Nahan.
Keylong recorded -9.9 °Celsius, Palampur froze at 1°Celsius, Dalhousie at -1 °Celsius and Manali recorded a minimum of -2.6 °Celsius.
Hopes of a white Christmas are still alive with people anticipating more snow on Wednesday night and Thursday morning. “There could be more snowfall, maybe not in Shimla but hopefully in Manali,” a tour operator said. Anticipating a white Christmas, tourists have been flocking to Shimla, Manali and other hill stations.
Weather woes for PRI poll candidates
With the rural areas of the state gearing for the upcoming panchayati raj institutions (PRI) polls, predictions of snow and bad weather have become a worrying point for the candidates and supporters who have to travel their segment on foot seeking votes. Voting for the second phase of PRI polls will take place on January 1, 3 and 5. In Shimla, Kullu and Kinnaur weather may play spoilsport in the polls.