Snow, rain wreak havoc in the hills; plains sunny


New Delhi: Heavy snow and rain paired together Saturday to disrupt life in the Himalayan towns while Delhi and its neighbourhood enjoyed warmer weather with Punjab and Haryaya receiving light spells of winter rain.

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Snow wreaked havoc in Jammu and Kashmir, affecting life across the Valley as roads were blocked, electricity supply disrupted and people forced to remain indoors.

The Srinagar-Jammu highway, the Valley’s only road link with the rest of the country, remained closed for the second day due to heavy snowfall in the Banihal sector.

Srinagar recorded 6 to 9 inches of snowfall till Saturday morning, while Sonamarg hill station in north Kashmir saw 18 inches of snow and the Gulmarg ski resort recorded 18 to 24 inches of snow, an official said.

Himachal Pradesh reeled under extreme cold with more snow fall in Shimla, Kalpa and other resort towns.

Flights from the hill towns of Shimla, Kullu and Dharmasala could not be operated due to the severe bad weather, airport officials said in Shimla.

The snow blocked major highways in the state, which affected road traffic in many places.

The entire tribal belt in Kinnaur, Lahaul and Spiti and Chamba districts received moderate snowfall, according to the weather office.

The lower areas of the state, including Dharamsala, Shimla, Solan, Nahan and Mandi received moderate rain.

The plains were much warmer Saturday, with cities in Punjab and Haryana receiving light winter rain.

A warmer minimum temperature of 10 degrees greeted Delhiites. Despite the slightly cloudy and windy conditions later in the day, it was a cheerful start to the weekend for the people in the national capital.

The maximum temperature was recorded at 21.4 degrees while the minimum settled at 10 degrees, three notches above average, a weather official said.

Delhi was expecting rains, but that seemed to have moved across to Punjab and Haryana, leaving the capital city to have a clear and bright Sunday.

It rained in Punjab and Haryana, but there was a pleasant rise in day temperature through the two states.

Chandigarh recorded a minimum temperature of 12.2 degrees, four degrees more than the previous day. The city also saw 1.4 mm rainfall since Friday.

Patiala city was the warmest city in Punjab at 9.8 degrees, followed by Amritsar at 9.6 degrees Celsius.

Punjab also had hailstorms late Friday. The weather offices have predicted more rain in the next few days.

Haryana’s Ambala town registered a low of 12.3 degrees. Hisar and Karnal towns also had a comparatively warmer day.