Fresh snowfall brings spring chill to Kashmir

April 8th, 2009 - 2:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, April 8 (IANS) Kashmir Valley is reeling under a cold spell unusual for April after fresh snowfall in the higher Himalayan reaches.
Fresh snow has covered Gulmarg, Sonamarg and Pahalgam hill stations and other higher reaches of the valley.

“The wet weather experienced throughout the valley is because of a Western Disturbance hitting the region,” T.K. Jotshi, assistant director of the weather office here, told IANS.

“We did not have the expected rain and snowfall in March this year because of the delayed arrival of the Western Disturbances,” Jotshi said.

Although the minimum temperature Tuesday was 6.9 degrees Celsius, the icy winds blowing into the valley from the snow-clad mountains have added to the chill factor.

Jotshi said the same weather conditions would continue till Thursday afternoon after which the weather was likely to improve.

People have again taken out their woollen garments and even electric and gas heaters are back in use after the slightlt balmy March.

“I had put the gas heater in the store thinking that the weather has now improved. But yesterday evening we had to start the gas heater again because of the chilly winds,” said Manzoor Ahmad, 48, an old city resident in Srinagar.

The winds are feared to cause damage to almond orchards, which are in full bloom these days.

“The delicate fruit (almond) flowers get damaged because of the cold and this means there would be less crop this season,” said Ali Mohammed, 49, who owns an almond orchard in central Kashmir Badgam district.

“Last year also our almond blooms were damaged by the spring chill,” he said.

Many roads in the Srinagar city have been water-logged because of faulty drainage system.

“Passing vehicles splash muddy water and it is virtually impossible to save your clothes from this onslaught,” said Nasreen, 21, a college student who showed here drenched clothes to prove her point.

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