The meteorological department has predicted a two-day fresh snowfall in higher reaches from 31st January.
Deputy Director MeT Mukhtar Ahmad told Kashmir Post that they are expecting light snowfall in mountains on 31st January and it will be followed by another spell of light to moderate snowfall from 2-3 February.
“Western disturbances shall likely affect Jammu and Kashmir from 31st January-1st February, which may cause light snowfall on higher reaches. However, it would not have any major effect on plains,” he said.
Mukhtar said this would be followed by another light to moderate spell between 2nd – 3rd February. The intensity of both the spells would be light as compared to previous spells, he said.
Mukhtar said the weather will remain mainly dry till 30 January in both J&K and Ladakh. There will be a decrease in cold weather conditions in the coming days in Valley, he said.
On Wednesday, a thick layer of fog engulfed valley parts in the morning which affected the traffic along the vital roads in Kashmir.
As per MeT officials, the summer capital Srinagar recorded the minimum temperature of minus 2.0°C, ski resort Gulmarg in Baramulla recorded a low of minus 12.0°C and was the coldest place in the valley.
Pahalgam recorded minus 7.7°C, Qazigund recorded a low of minus 4.4°C, Kokernag recorded a low of minus 8.3°C and Kupwara settled at minus 2.0°C.
As per traffic advisory, there will be one way traffic on Thursday from Jammu towards Srinagar on the highway and no vehicle will be allowed from another side.
However, Mughal Road, the alternate road-link which connects the valley to PirPanjal through the Shopian-Rajouri axis is still closed for traffic due to heavy snowfall since December 19.
The minimum temperature in Kashmir stayed below freezing point on Wednesday and is expected to remain so till the next week with the weatherman forecasting the possibility of a Western Disturbance hitting the valley on February 2.
Srinagar city recorded a low of minus 2 degrees Celsius, up from minus 2.4 degrees Celsius the previous night, the officials said.
Qazigund, the gateway town to the valley, recorded a minimum of 4.4 degrees Celsius—down from minus 2.8 degree Celsius the previous night, they said.
The minimum temperature at the Gulmarg skiing resort, in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, settled at minus 12 degrees Celsius.
Pahalgam tourist resort, which also serves as a base camp for the annual Amarnath yatra in south Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 7.7 degrees Celsius – marginally down from previous night’s minus 7.1 degrees Celsius.
Kupwara recorded a low of minus 2 degrees Celsius, while Kokernag in the south recorded minus 8.3 degrees Celsius.
The minimum temperatures are expected to remain below freezing point for the next week due to the possibility of a Western Disturbance on February 2.
Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai-Kalan’—the 40-day harshest winter period when a cold wave grips the region and the temperature drops considerably leading to the freezing of water bodies including the famous Dal Lake here.
The chances of snowfall are the most frequent and maximum during this period and most areas, especially in the higher reaches, receive heavy snowfall.
While ‘Chillai-Kalan’, which began on December 21, will end on January 31, the cold wave continues even after that in Kashmir with a 20-day-long ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day-long ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold).