Himachal shivers amid season’s first snowfall, air quality improves

Himachal shivers amid season’s first snowfall Courtesy: Indian Express

The season’s first snowfall and rain showers have brought much-needed relief to the farmers of Himachal Pradesh, apart from lowering temperatures and improving AQI in parts of the state.

With over 50 per cent of the state lacking irrigation facilities, the wet spell is expected to improve crop cultivation. The sowing of wheat and other rabi crops had been delayed due to the prevailing dry conditions.

Thanks to snow showers, temperatures plummeted across the state Sunday night and many tourist destinations like Kufri and Narkanda were wrapped in white sheets of snow by the next morning. In some parts of the state, roads were closed and power services were disrupted due to the snowfall.
Kufri received 7centimeters of snowfall while Manali in Kullu received 2 cm yesterday, the India Meteorological Department said. Several other areas of the state, including capital Shimla, experienced 21.6 mm rainfall.

Till Monday morning, Sangla valley in Kinnaur received a maximum 25 centimetres snowfall followed by Gondla in Lahaul and Kothi in Kullu, which received 20 cm each. Khoksar in Lahaul received 10 cm of snow. In Shimla district, Khadrala received 18 cm of snow and Shilaroo 10.4cm. Kufri received seven centimetres of snow and 16 millimetre rain.

The tribal district of Lahaul and Spiti’s administrative centre Keylong recorded the lowest temperature in the state at minus 3 degree Celsius, the IMD said Monday.

The precipitation also helped lower pollution levels a day after Diwali.

From Tuesday, IMD has predicted at least a week of dry weather, except some rain/snow at isolated places in the high hills.

Apart from Himachal Pradesh, several high-altitude areas like Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand experienced similar weather conditions. Heavy snowfall and landslides in J&K led to the closure of the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway in Ramban. Authorities in Kashmir have issued an avalanche warning for four districts — Kupwara, Bandipora, Baramulla and Ganderbal. In Uttarakhand, the Himalayan shrines of Kedarnath and Yamunotri have been closed for the winter season amid heavy snowfall.

Source: Indian Express