Rains have been lashing Kashmir Valley since midnight in line with the meteorological department’s forecast for rainfall and snowfall in the Union Territory for the next three days. While the sky remained overcast in several parts of Kashmir since evening, it started raining at midnight.

“A fresh western disturbance, bringing winds from the Mediterranean, will cause light rain and thunder on April 4 and 5 and moderate rain and snow accompanied by thunderstorms and gusty winds on April 6 and 7,” the forecast said.

“The system is likely to cause heavy rainfall and snowfall, primarily in the upper reaches of Kashmir such as Gulmarg, Sonamarg, Baramulla, Bandipora, Kupwara , Shopian, Qazigund-Banihal axis, in the Pir Panjal range in Jammu division, and in Dras and Zanskar subdivisions of Ladakh,” meteorologist MH Mir said in a weather advisory to the divisional commissioners of J&K and Ladakh.

The fresh precipitation may lead to temporary disruption of surface traffic mainly on the Jammu-Srinagar and Srinagar-Leh national highways, Leh-Manali highway, Mughal Road and Sadhna Pass on April 6 and 7. Mir added that there was a possibility of landslides and shooting stones at vulnerable spots on the Jammu-Srinagar and Srinagar-Leh national highways.

The fresh western disturbance comes a week after the UT was affected by two back-to-back weather systems that hit the region in the fourth week of March.

After a relatively hot February, March mostly remained cold and wet with intermittent precipitation across Jammu and Kashmir.

Although February witnessed a number of snow spells, it also saw an abrupt increase in maximum temperatures. Srinagar recorded a maximum night temperature of 7.2 °C and Gulmarg recorded the lowest at 0.6°C.

This year, Kashmir experienced the harshest winter in 30 years with temperatures plunging to record levels in January. On January 31, the temperature in Srinagar reached minus 8.8 degrees, the lowest since the January of 1991.

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