‘Queen of the Hills’ sees highest snow in nine years

Shimla, Feb 4 : The Queen of the Hills, as Shimla was popularly known during the British rule, recorded the highest snowfall on a single day in February in the past nine years, a Met official said here on Thursday. This was also the season’s heaviest spell.

Manmohan Singh, Director of the meteorological office, told IANS the town recorded 54.1 cm of snowfall on February 12, the highest in February of 2002.

The Himachal Pradesh capital experienced 50 cm snow in the past 24 hours on February 4, he added.

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Places near to Shimla such as Kufri and Narkanda have also been experiencing snowfall, turning the tourist destinations even more picturesque.

So were popular tourist resorts of Manali, Kasauli, Chail and Dalhousie that were covered in a thick blanket of snow.

As news of the snowfall spread, tourists flocked to Shimla, known for the imperial grandeur of its buildings that were once institutions of power when the town served as the summer capital of British India.

“What a pleasant surprise to see snow everywhere,” remarked Kavita Munjal, a tourist from Chandigarh, who was in Shimla along with her friends.

Shimla saw a low of 1.8 degrees Celsius, while day’s temperature too stayed close to the freezing point.

The snowy landscape in Shimla would stay for one-two days, an official of the Met Office said.

Reports said most of the areas in Shimla’s apple belt such as Jubbal and Kharapathar experienced moderate to heavy snow.

“High-altitude areas of Lahaul-Spiti, Kinnaur, Chamba, Kullu, Mandi, Sirmaur and Shimla districts have been experiencing moderate to heavy snow,” the official said.

Manali, which also saw snow, experienced a low of 4 degrees Celsius, while it was 2.8 degrees in Dharamsala.

The majestic Dhauladhar ranges in the Kangra valley got a fresh blanket of snow cover.

Kalpa, some 250 km from the state capital and Keylong in Lahaul and Spiti district also experienced snow. These towns saw the night temperature fall to minus 4.6 degrees and minus 6.3 degrees Celsius, respectively.

Lower altitude areas of the state such as Dharamsala, Palampur, Solan, Nahan, Bilaspur, Una, Hamirpur and Mandi towns received rain, bringing down the temperature considerably.

The Met Office has forecast that scattered rain or snow is likely in the state till Friday.

After the opening of the skies, the minimum temperature across the state could plummet by three to four notches, a weatherman warned.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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