Shimla: To the delight of tourists and the farming community, a spell of light snow across higher hills and widespread rains in the lower ranges broke the long spell of dry weather that was threatening rabi crops and had deeply affected tourism.
Shimla, Kufri and the surrounding hills recorded the first significant snowfall of the season, causing a significant dip in temperatures.
Meteorological director Manmohan Singh said that Shimla recorded 15 centimetres of snow over the last 24 hours. Other than some snowflakes falling on January 4, this happens to be the winters first snowfall in the city, he informed.
Tourists were a excited lot for waking up to falling flakes around that had covered the landscape in a layer of white. Many could be seen moving out into the cold day early, even as office goers had a hard time getting to their workplace on time.
Traffic was partially disrupted in the morning but as the day wore on, the overnight snow melted away as the cloud cover went thin and sun broke through. Cold conditions kept most city residents indoors, hovering around heating systems.
Elsewhere in the regions snow was recorded in the higher hills of Manali, Kinnaur, Chamba and the Dhauladhar ranges that tower over Dharmashala. The met office reported 30 centimeter of snow at Kalpa, district headquarter of Kinnaur and 28 centimetres at Keylong, the district headquarter of Lahaul-Spiti. The townships of Dhalousie, Narkanda and Kotkhai also received snow.
In its forecast, the met office expected rain or snow at isolated places and a drop in night temperatures by 2 to 4 degree Celsius. Night temperature in Shimla was recorded at 0.2 degree Celsius with the lowest temperature in the state at â€“ 4.9 degree Celsius being recorded at Keylong.