HP: Cold wave intensifies as higher reaches receive snowfall

NewsDrum Desk
24 Jan 2023

Shimla, Jan 24 (PTI) The cold wave tightened its grip in Himachal Pradesh as tribal areas and higher reaches received light to moderate snowfall while the mid and low hilly areas witnessed light intermittent rains, officials said on Tuesday.

The Rohtang pass top received 30 cm of snow followed by North Portal and South Portal of Atal Tunnel getting 17.5 cm and 15 cm snowfall respectively, they said.

Solang and Jalorijyot received 7.7 cm, Kukumseri, Keylong, Chaudhar and Tindi got 5 cm of snow each, officials said.

They added that drizzle and mild rain was witnessed at several places, including Manali (11 mm), Chamba (7 mm), Bilaspur (5 mm), Una (2 mm), as well as Shimla, Sundernagar and Bhuntar (1 mm) each.

As many as 164 roads, including 139 in Lahaul and Spiti, 13 in Kullu, four in Mandi, three each in Shimla and Chamba and two in Kangra district were closed for vehicular traffic following snowfall, officials said.   The local MeT office has predicted thunderstorm, lightning and hailstorm at isolated places in the plains and low hills of eight districts barring Kullu, Shimla, Kinnaur and Lahaul and Spiti on Wednesday.

It has also predicted wet spell till January 30 as another western disturbance would affect the region from January 27 night.   The farmers in Mandi district have been advised to take precautions against waterlogging which results in in rotting of plants and poor germination.

The department has also warned about the possibility of breaking of apple branches due to heavy load of snow in Shimla and occurrence of yellow rust in wheat due to increase in relative humidity in Solan district as per the Impact Based Agriculture Forecast for agriculture and horticulture.    Rains are good for the wheat crop being produced in 3.30 lakh hectare in the state with a production target of 6.17 lakh MT (metric ton). Snow is considered as white manure for apples, experts say.

The dairy farmers have been advised to keep the animals warm by providing dry bedding and protection against cold winds and direct contact of rainfall, officials said.

The MeT department also cautioned of possible disruptions of essential services - water and electricity, communications, traffic congestion and related issues, besides landslides and reduced visibility conditions.

The average minimum temperatures were below normal and Keylong in Lahaul and Spiti district was coldest with a low of minus 7.6 degree followed by Kukumseri at minus 7.4 degrees Celsius and Kalpa minus 1.8 degree C, it said. PTI/BPL TDS TDS

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