Light snowfall at higher reaches in Himachal

 Except for the higher reaches in Lahaul and Spiti, Kinnaur, Kullu and Chamba, most of the places, including Shimla, went without snowfall or rain on Wednesday.

“The western disturbance has not been as strong as expected. Even though it was cloudy all over the state today, the precipitation was less than expected as the intensity of the western disturbance has weakened,” said Surender Paul, Director, Meteorological Centre, Shimla. The higher reaches also did not receive much snowfall – maximum snowfall was recorded at Rohtang (6 cm) in Kullu at 6 pm as per the report issued by the HP State Disaster Management Authority.

The weather department had sounded an alert for heavy snowfall at certain places in higher reaches for January 12, but the possibility of heavy snowfall has reduced following today’s less than expected precipitation. “We are now expecting light to moderate snowfall tomorrow and day after in high and mid hills in view of the weakened intensity of the western disturbance,” said Paul. “In lower hills and the plains, we are expecting light rains,” he said.

Due to the snowfall in higher reaches, 145 roads have shut down for traffic. Out of these 145 affected roads, 139 are in Lahaul and Spiti alone. Two each have shut down in Chamba, Kullu and Kangra. Water Schemes and electricity have been affected recently.

Farmers and horticulturalists have been expecting a good spell of rain and snowfall to end the prolonged dry spell. The dry spell has already caused 20 to 25 per cent loss to wheat and vegetables in the state, besides delaying new plantation of apple and other temperate fruits.

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