Snow Covers North Indian Himalayan Tourist Centres

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New Delhi: Famous tourist destinations in Himachal Pradesh, including Shimla, Manali, Dalhousie and Kufri, witnessed snowfall overnight which led to the mercury dropping to sub-zero levels on Saturday, leaving the rooftops of houses and the pine trees sparkling in white, shrouded in a thick blanket of snow. Between Friday 5.30 pm and Saturday 8.30 am, Dalhousie received 60 cm of snow, the highest in the state, followed by Kufri (20 cm), Shimla (13 cm) and Manali (10 cm), Shimla Meteorological Centre director Manmohan Singh said.

Lahaul-Spiti's administrative centre Keylong and Kinnaur's Kalpa each witnessed 13 cm snowfall during the period, he said, adding Kothi received 30 cm of snow, Chhatrari 18 cm, Bijahi and Khadrala 14 cm, Theog 12 cm and Janjheli 10 cm. Dhauladhar hills and Bhagsunag in Kangra district also witnessed snowfall. Minimum temperatures in Kufri, Manali, Shimla and Dalhousie were recorded at minus 3.9 degrees Celsius, minus 1.8 degrees Celsius, minus 0.5 degrees Celsius and minus 0.4 degrees Celsius respectively.

Keylong recorded the lowest minimum temperature in the state at minus 5.7 degrees Celsius, whereas in Kinnaur's Kalpa it was minus 2.8 degrees Celsius. Dharamshala received the highest rainfall at 86 mm between Friday 5.30 pm and Saturday 8.30 am, followed by Chamba 62 mm, Naina Devi 58 mm, Gaggal 57 mm, Palampur 56 mm, Banjar 55 mm, Una 50 mm, Baijnath 49 mm, Jogindernagar 36 mm, Hamirpur and Sujanpur 32 mm each, Nahan 28 mm, Sundernagar and Karsog 26 mm each.

The Kashmir Valley remained cut-off from the rest of the country for the third consecutive day on Saturday as the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway was closed and flight operations here continued to be affected due to fresh snowfall, officials said. The Srinagar-Jammu National Highway was closed for traffic for the third consecutive day on Saturday due to bad weather, a Traffic Department official said. He said the highway was closed for traffic after heavy snowfall around the Jawahar Tunnel — the gateway to the Kashmir Valley. The air traffic to the Valley remained suspended for the eighth consecutive day on Saturday due to bad weather.

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