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Snowfall, rains end dry spell in Kashmir

Srinagar: The five-month long dry spell in Kashmir, the longest in four decades, ended today as high altitude areas, including Gulmarg, experienced snow while most of the plains were lashed by rains, providing much needed relief to people from the intense cold as the mercury rose by several degrees due to cloud cover.

The famous ski resort of Gulmarg witnessed about five inches of snowfall since wee hours today, much to the delight of the visitors who have flocked the area in good numbers on the eve of new year, officials said.

They said about one feet of snow was recorded in the peripheral areas of the resort, including Khilanmarg, Kongdoori and Apperwath.

Reports of snowfall were also received from upper reaches of Kupwara, Bandipora and Baramulla districts in north Kashmir, Anantnag, Shopian, Pulwama and Kulgam districts of south Kashmir, the officials said.

They said the areas which witnessed snowfall included Keran, Machil, Karnah, Gurez and Amarnath cave along with surrounding areas.

One to two inches of snow was recorded in Shopian town and nearby Herpora village, while the famous hill resort of Pahalgam along with other plains in south, north and central Kashmir were lashed by rains.

Srinagar, which has been engulfed by heavy cloud cover since last night, recorded a drizzle in the wee hours.

The minimum temperature recorded in the city was muinus 0.6 degrees Celsius against the previous nights minus 4 degrees Celsius.

The minimum temperature also rose by several degrees across the valley with Kupwara town in north and Kokernag in south Kashmir settling above freezing point.

While Kupwara recorded a low of 1.4 degrees Celsius against yesterday’s minus 4.6 degrees, Kokernag recorded a minimum of 0.3 degrees Celsius against yesterday’s minus 0.7 degrees, a spokesman of the MET office said.

The spokesman said Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 3.6 degrees Celsius, Pahalgam minus 2 degrees Celsius, and Qazigund minus 2.6 degrees Celsius.

The three places had recorded a low of minus 4, minus 5 and minus 3.6 degrees Celsius, respectively, the previous night.

Leh in frontier region of Ladakh continued to remain the coldest place in the state with a low of minus 10.5 degrees Celsius, while the nearby Kargil town recorded a dip of almost two degrees in the night temperature which settled at minus 9.3 degrees Celsius, the spokesman said.

The spokesman has forecast wet weather during the next six days with widespread to fairly widespread snowfall or rains between Wednesday and Saturday.
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