Snowfall in hills, Chillai-Kalan in Jammu and Kashmir, rain in Delhi next week, weather forecast known

New Delhi: Snow and light rain lashed the hilly states of north India on Friday under the influence of a western disturbance, disrupting road traffic and affecting flight operations. Meanwhile, the plains recorded an increase in low temperatures. The national capital recorded a minimum temperature of 10.6 degrees Celsius, three notches above normal, on Friday morning. This was informed by the India Meteorological Department (IMD). Delhi has been warned of rain and hail next week.

The IMD had predicted cloudy weather in Delhi on Friday, but it was mostly sunny. The national capital is likely to receive rain next week. Rain and thundershowers are likely to occur over Delhi and West Uttar Pradesh on January 24, the Meteorological Department said. Hail is also possible. Apart from this, rain and hail are also predicted in Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Himachal and Jammu and Kashmir. According to the IMD, the city recorded 83 percent humidity at 8.30 am on Friday. According to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data, the air quality index (AQI) at 9 am was recorded at 277, which falls in the ‘poor’ category.

An AQI between 0 and 50 is considered good, 51 and 100 satisfactory, 101 and 200 moderate, 201 and 300 poor, 301 and 400 very poor, and 401 and 500 very severe.

Most places in Haryana and Punjab recorded a slight rise in minimum temperatures on Friday, giving relief to people from severe cold. Ambala in Haryana recorded a low of 10 degrees Celsius and Hisar at 9.1 degrees Celsius. Rohtak recorded 11 degrees Celsius, Karnal 9.7 degrees Celsius, Sirsa 9.2 degrees Celsius and Kurukshetra 10.3 degrees Celsius. However, the cold wave continued in Narnaul where the minimum temperature was recorded at 7.5 degrees Celsius.

In Punjab, Amritsar and Ludhiana recorded minimum temperatures of 10 degrees Celsius, Patiala 8.6 degrees Celsius, Pathankot 10.5 degrees Celsius, Faridkot 9.5 degrees Celsius and Mohali 9.4 degrees Celsius. On the other hand, Bathinda recorded a minimum temperature of seven degrees Celsius.

Fresh snowfall in most parts of Kashmir on Friday paralyzed traffic on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway and affected flights to and from the Valley. Pahalgam and Gulmarg and Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian, Pulwama, Budgam, Kupwara, Ganderbal and Srinagar received snowfall.

Traffic on both sides of the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway between Ramban and Banihal was disrupted due to snow and stone pelting, officials said. He also said flights were affected at Srinagar airport due to snowfall and poor visibility.

Kashmir recorded an increase in minimum temperatures, but the mercury dipped below freezing in the entire valley. Srinagar recorded a low of minus 0.1 degrees Celsius on Thursday night. Meanwhile, the lowest temperature in Khasigand was minus 0.6 degree Celsius.

South Kashmir’s Kokarnag recorded minus 1.4 degrees Celsius and Kupwara recorded minus 1.5 degrees Celsius. Pahalgam in Anantnag district recorded minus 2.9 degrees Celsius and Gulmarg in Baramulla district recorded minus 7.6 degrees Celsius.

The Meteorological Department has predicted rainfall in Jammu and Kashmir from January 19 to 25 due to a western disturbance. Some parts of Jammu and Kashmir are likely to experience light to moderate rain or snow on Friday and Saturday. Heavy rain is also expected from January 23 to 25. Also, moderate snowfall is expected over the plains of Kashmir and moderate to heavy snowfall over the highlands of Jammu.

The ‘Chillai-Kalan’ period is still going on in Kashmir. It lasts for 40 days, during which Kashmir valley records a significant drop in temperature along with a cold wave. There is a strong chance of snowfall during this period, especially in higher elevations.

The term of Chillai-Kalan ends on January 30, after which the 20-day ‘Chillai-Khurd’ begins, during which the Kashmir Valley remains cold. Then there will be a period of 10 days called ‘Chillai Bacha’, when the valley starts getting cooler.

The higher reaches of Himachal Pradesh also received light snowfall on Friday, while vehicular traffic was affected on 278 roads due to intermittent rain across the state under the influence of a western disturbance.

Jalori Jot and Rohtang Pass in Kullu received 60 and 45 cm of snow respectively and Atal Tunnel South End and Chancel received 30 cm each.

Chuddar and Dodrakwar received 25 cm, Khadrala received 16 cm and Jakhu Peak in Shimla and areas around Kufri received 3 to 10 cm of snow. Manali, Gohar and Tinder recorded 16 mm, 11 mm and 8.3 mm of rain respectively while Nahan and Bhuntar recorded 5.7 mm of rain.

Traffic was disrupted on National Highway 3, 305, Rohtang Pass and Jalori Pass, and vehicular traffic was affected on National Highway 505 from Gramphu to Losar. 177 roads were closed in Lahaul and Spiti, 64 in Shimla, nine in Kinnaur, five in Champa, three in Kullu and two each in Kangra and Sirmaur districts.

The Regional Meteorological Center has predicted rain over the region till January 26, light rain and snow at isolated places on January 21-22 and light to moderate snowfall at many places in central and higher hills on January 23.

With fresh snowfall in the state capital and its suburbs, hotel occupancy is expected to go up to 70 per cent by Friday evening, Tourism Industry Stakeholders Association president MK Seth said. Hotels are now 30 percent full.

In Uttarakhand, the higher areas of Chamoli and Rudraprayag districts, including landslide-prone Joshimath, continued to receive snowfall since Thursday night, due to which the entire region was gripped by severe cold.

The Meteorological Department said that snowfall has started in the highlands since Thursday night and is continuing till now. Meanwhile, there is little rain in low lying areas. People are facing extreme cold as cold winds are blowing along with rain along with snowfall in the state.

The onset of rain and snowfall in Joshimath from Friday morning has added to the hardships of the disaster victims and workers engaged in rescue and relief operations.

Most of the areas in Badrinath, Kedarnath, Hemakund Sahib, Auli, Nanda Devi National Park, Valley of Flowers National Park and Kedarnath Kasturiman Sanketam are covered with snow, the Meteorological Department said.

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