Snowfall disrupts normal life in higher hills of Himachal, 475 roads blocked

Snowfall disrupts normal life in higher hills of Himachal, 475 roads blocked

Shimla | A fresh spell of snowfall in Himachal Pradesh has led to closure of 475 roads, including five national highways, officials said on Sunday evening.

The maximum temperature plunged and stayed five to 12 degrees below normal in most places as strong velocity icy winds accompanied by intermittent rain and sleet lashed the region.

The sky remained heavily overcast throughout the day and reduced visibility affected vehicular traffic.

The orange warning for snowfall across Himachal Pradesh issued by the local weather office on Saturday evening has been changed to a yellow warning for thunderstorms, lightning and hailstorms with heavy snow at isolated places on Sunday.

Officials said 157 roads have been closed in Lahaul and Spiti, followed by 133 in Shimla, 71 in Kullu, 56 in Chamba, and 51 in Mandi district. According to the state emergency operation centre, 333 transformers and 57 water supply schemes have been disrupted.

While light snowfall occurred at a few places in higher hills, Kalpa recorded 10 cm of fresh snow, followed by Shilaroo and Bharmaur 5 cm, Gondla 4 cm, and Narkanda 2 mm.

Mid and lower hills received widespread rain and Solan was the wettest with 45.6 mm rains, followed by Bijhai 40 mm, Hamirpur 31 mm, Dharamsala 28.5 mm, Bhuntar 28 mm, Shimla 24 mm, Sundernagar 22 mm, Jubbarhatti 21 mm, Mandi 19 mm, Kangra 12.8 mm, and Una 11.5 mm.

Narkanda was the coldest during the day with maximum temperature at 0.4 degree, while key tourist destination of Manali shivered at 1.3 degrees, 10.7 degrees below normal.

Chamba, Mandi and Solan recorded a high of 9.6 degrees, 9.8 degrees and 8.6 degrees respectively, which were 12.4 degrees, 10.2 degrees and 10 degrees below normal.

State capital Shimla which remained engulfed in thick fog and received 24 mm rain, recorded a high of five degrees, 6.2 degrees below normal.

The local meteorological station has predicted rain at isolated places in the plains and lower hills and rains or snow at a few places in mid and higher hills on February 5.

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