Snowfall in hills sends chilly winds into Kashmir valley

Srinagar : As the maximum day temperature fell eight degrees Celsius below average in Jammu and Kashmir summer capital Srinagar Saturday, the higher reaches in the Himalayas received moderate snowfall Sunday, sending chilly winds whistling into the Valley.

“The maximum temperature was 12.8 degrees Celsius in Srinagar Saturday, eight degrees below normal,” the weather office said here.

“The minimum temperature was 7.3 degrees in Srinagar, 7.4 degrees in Qazigund, 5.8 degrees in (south Kashmir’s) Pahalgam (hill station and minus 1.0 degrees in (north Kashmir’s) Gulmarg (ski resort),” an official said.

“There has been moderate snowfall in the higher reaches of the Valley during the night including the Zojilla Pass and the Pir Panchal Mountain range,” weather office director Sonam Lotus said.

“The day temperatures have dipped throughout the Valley because of chilly winds coming down from the surrounding hills,” he said.

“There would be moderate rainfall in the Valley during the next 12 hours, after which the weather is going to improve here,” he added.

Rain and moderate snowfall in the Valley has already heralded an early winter here this year.

“October normally used to be sunny and dry, but the continuing cold weather for the last two days has ushered in an early winter,” said Bashir Ahmad War, a retired senior veterinarian here.

“Already, pherans (tweed over-garments) and kangris (earthen firepots woven in willow wicker) are being used to keep oneself warm,” he added.

Most locals believe late October rain and snowfall precede a long and extended winter in the Valley.

“My father used to say rain and snow in October indicate the coming winter would be long and harsh,” said Abdul Majid, 65, a resident of north Kashmir’s Ganderbal district.

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