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Rains, snowfall lash north India; Srinagar highway shut


Updated: February 24, 2013, 8:00 AM IST
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Rains, snowfall lash north India; Srinagar highway shut
Fresh snowfall across Kashmir prompted authorities to issue an avalanche warning in higher reaches of the valley.

New Delhi: Rains and thundershowers lashed large parts of North India on Saturday leaving two persons dead in Uttar Pradesh while the hill states experienced fresh snowfall keeping the mercury down in the region. In New Delhi, overnight rains and thunderstorm ended the warm spell people have been experiencing for the last couple of days and brought back chill in the air. Rain gauges measured 7.6 mm of rainfall in the last 24 hours.

Maximum temperature in the national capital plummeted from Friday's 27.1 degree Celsius to 22.6 degree Celcius on Saturday which is two notches below normal. However, minimum temperature in the city climbed from Friday's 13.9 degree Celcius to 14.9 degree Celcius. Light to moderate rain was witnessed in parts of Uttar Pradesh and two persons were killed after being hit by lightning in the state.

One person each was killed in Jalaun and Etah districts after lightning hit them, official sources said in New Delhi. Met has warned that thunder-squall and hailstorm would occur at isolated places over the state during next 24 hours.

Fresh snowfall across Kashmir prompted authorities to issue an avalanche warning in higher reaches of the Valley, while the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway remained closed for the second day on Saturday. "The Jammu-Srinagar National Highway is closed for vehicular traffic due to continuous snowfall on either side of Jawahar tunnel in south Kashmir," a spokesman of the traffic department said.

The 294-km arterial highway, the only all-weather road link between Kashmir and rest of the country, was closed on Friday due to snowfall. The snowfall in the Valley has affected normal life as electricity supply has been snapped while many roads in rural areas have been blocked due to snow. Srinagar received the second major snowfall of the winter on Saturday morning.

According to a MET department official, Srinagar got snowfall and rains equivalent to 30.1 mm rainfall since on Friday while Qazigund the gateway town to the Valley received 42.2mm. The snowfall has resulted in the mercury staying around freezing point in most parts of the Valley and Gulmarg continued to shiver at minus 5.6 degree Celcius.

While Kargil was the coldest recorded place in the state at minus 11.0 degree Celcius, Leh town saw the mercury rise to minus 5.0 degree Celcius. Pahalgam in south Kashmir received snowfall equivalent to 46.6 mm of rainfall followed by Kupwara (44.0mm), Kokernag (40.6 mm) and Gulmarg skiing resort (35.0 mm) in north Kashmir.

Higher parts of Uttarakhand were lashed by snow and plains witnessed intermittent showers for the second consecutive day on Saturday bringing the maximum temperature down by several notches. High altitude in the state including Badrinath, Kedarnath, Auli, Joshimath, Gangotri, Yamunotri, Harsil and Munsyari received snowfall again this morning, while intermittent rains lashed the plains including Dehradun and Haridwar, adding to the chill, the MeT office here said.

Punjab and Haryana continued to reel under wet spell for the third consecutive day on Saturday with minimum temperature witnessing a further increase since on Friday. The MeT attributed present change in weather to a Western Disturbance over North Pakistan and neighbourhood and to an Upper Air Cyclonic Circulation which was active at Central Pakistan adjoining Rajasthan.

Chandigarh was lashed by heavy rains at 17.9 mm. In Haryana, Ambala recorded a low of 14 degree Celcius, up five notches and the town received a rainfall of 8.8 mm. Among other places in Haryana to be lashed by rains included Panchkula, Bhiwani, Panipat, Kalka, Yamunanagar, Sonepat, Kaithal, Kurukshetra and Faridabad. In Punjab, rains lashed Moga, Shahpur Kandi, Nangal Dam, Mohali, Phagwara, Madhopur and Hoshiarpur.

With Additional Inputs from PTI

First Published: February 24, 2013, 8:00 AM IST
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