9th Dec 2008 – The ski resort of Gulmarg was covered in a 5-6 inch white blanket, bringing cheer to tourists who enjoyed snow flakes drifting from skies and locals who saw it as the beginning of the business season. The rain and snow also gave people a respite from the biting cold of the past week as minimum temperatures went up by more than two degrees to settle at minus 0.2 degrees Celsius in the valley.
The lack of snow was in fact giving jitters to entire administration as Gulmarg will be hosting the national winter games in January 2008. But now with snow firmly set in place – a few more days of snow and the slopes should ready for the winter games.
Daylong snowfall in Gulmarg hill station
Nov 13th, 2008
Srinagar, Nov 13 (IANS) Gulmarg hill station in Jammu and Kashmir received snowfall through the day Thursday, in the first major snowfall in the higher reaches of the Kashmir Valley which is already reeling under near cold wave conditions.
Snowfall in the north Kashmir resort, which is known for winter sports and located 54 km from Srinagar, began at 5 a.m. The 14-km road from Tangmarg town to Gulmarg now lies blocked.
‘Due to a western disturbances, the valley has been experiencing precipitation for the last 12 hours and rain and snowfall in the higher reaches is likely to continue for another two days,’ T.K. Jotshi, assistant director of the local weather office, told IANS here.
The minimum temperature was five degrees Celsius Thursday which according to Jotshi was four degrees above normal.
Asked why the valley was reeling under near cold wave conditions despite the temperature being above normal, the weatherman said: ‘It is because of the chill factor. Cold winds blow into the valley from the snow-clad mountains which add to the chill factor during the day.’
Locals have already started using the traditional tweed overgarments called ‘pheren’ to ward off the cold.
During winter months, Kashmiris use special firepots called the ‘kangris’ which are earthen firepots woven in willow wicker.
‘There is a drastic cut in electric supply and we get electricity for hardly 10 hours during the day. This has made things worse,’ said Gulam Mohiuddin, 48, who lives in the old city area of summer capital Srinagar.
The electric department engineers say the local demand for electricity has multiplied manifold because of the use of electric heaters and boilers and this often causes system failures resulting in supply breakdowns across the Valley.