Saturday, 16 February 2013

Snow, rain trigger cold waves in Himachal

SHIMLA: A fresh wave of cold has gripped the entire state after snowfall on higher reaches and rain on mid and lower hills on Friday.

Vehicles buried under thick blanket of snow in Kinnaur, Himachal
(Pic: Hitesh S Negi)
High altitude areas of Himachal including Lahaul-Spiti district, parts of Kinnaur, Manali and Chamba, Dhauladhar ranges of Kangra are receiving snowfall since Thursday night. Blizzards have stopped outdoor movement of residents in Keylong, district headquarter of Lahaul-Spiti, where 5cm fresh snow has been accumulated. Given the heavy snowfall forecast for next 48 hours, high alert has been sounded by Lahaul-Spiti administration. Shimla meteorological office has issued a warning of heavy snowfall on high hills and hailstorms on low hills in next two days.
 
Solang near Manali recorded 15cm snow while Rohtang pass has got over 30cm in last 20 hours. Total snow accumulation on Rohtang pass is expected to be near 25 feet (750cm). Rain lashed mid hills of the state and overcast sky made the day colder in low hills. At -4.6 degrees Celsius, Keylong was the coldest inhabited place of Himachal followed by Kalpa, Manali and Shimla at -3, 2 and 6.4 degrees Celsius minimum temperature. Decreasing atmospheric pressure has caused increase in minimum temperature by 2 to 3 degrees Celsius in last 24 hours. But Una, in the plains of Himachal, was warm at 27 degrees Celsius, highest in the state.
Hundreds of tourists in Manali thronged Solang valley and enjoyed the fresh snowfall on Friday morning. “We have been to Solang on Thursday but we reached here for one more time as it was snowing here on Friday. We were lucky to see snowfall and enjoyed as much as we could,” tourist from New Delhi, Vikas Mehta, said. Manali administration has also alerted tourists not to go towards isolated areas as snow may trap them.
Dark clouds and light showers in Shimla have triggered the cold waves. High mountains of hill queen also experienced light snowfall. People in Kinnaur and Spiti, where up to 180cm of snow had wreaked havoc earlier this week, are praying for clear weather now. “It would take weeks to melt the heaps of previous snow and now more snow is scaring us. We are praying almighty for pleasant weather,” a resident from Kaza, Tanpa Lote, told Himachal Vacation over phone.

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