Srinagar: Fresh snowfall brought respite from intense cold to the residents of Kashmir Valley as night temperatures rose considerably, even as it led to the closure of the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway on Saturday. Most parts of the Valley had turned white with the snow which began falling around 6 in the morning.
The minimum temperature in the summer capital Srinagar settled at 0.4 degree Celsius, more than four notches up from Friday's minus 4.0 degree Celsius, as it received a snowfall of about half-an-inch, a spokesman of MET Department said. He said the famous skiing resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir received a snowfall of about 2 inches, and the minimum temperature was up from Friday's minus 9.0 degree Celsius to minus 5.2 degree Celsius.
The spokesman said the night temperature in Pahalgam hill resort in south, which serves as a base camp during Amarnath yatra, registered an increase of over six notches to settle at a low of minus 2.0 degree Celsius from the previous night's minus 8.5 degree Celsius. The resort, he added, received a snowfall of over an inch Saturday morning.
The highway town of Qazigund in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 0.7 degree Celsius, four degrees up from 4.8 degrees Celsius on Friday and received a snowfall of 0.5 inch. The night temperature in Kokernag was minus 1.9 degree Celsius, up from minus 4.1 degrees Celsius the previous night and in north Kashmir's Kupwara town the minimum settled at 0.4 degree Celsius, up from Friday's minus 3.6 degrees Celsius, he said, adding around half-an-inch snowfall was recorded at both the places.
Night temperature also increased in Leh town in the cold desert of Ladakh where the minimum settled at minus 12.6 degree Celsius. The minimum in Leh the previous night was minus 17.0 degrees Celsius, he said. Kargil, also in the frontier region of Ladakh, was the coldest recorded place in the state with a low of minus 17.4 degree Celsius, over a degree warm than minus 18.6 degrees Celsius the previous night.
A spokesman of the Traffic Department said the 294-km Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, the only road link between Kashmir and rest of the country, was closed for traffic due to the snowfall.