Incessant mild to moderate rain across Uttarakhand and moderate snow in the higher reaches since Friday night pulled down temperatures throwing life out of gear in most places.
Police had a tough time regulating traffic on the Dehra Dun-Mussoorie road as a large number of vehicles carrying tourists out to have a view of the snowfall were stuck-up due to jams at various places. The Mall road and surrounding areas were covered with a white sheet of snow with the local businessmen cheering up to see good business as the number of tourists was bound to increase on Sunday.
Police have also set up barricades on the Rajpur road leading to Mussoorie to check drunken driving, residents at Jakhan said.
Moderate snow was also reported from Chakrata, Mukteshwar, Lohaghat, Tehri, Chamoli, Uttarkashi and Rudraprayag. New Tehri reported the lowest minimum temperature at -1.4 degrees Celsius followed by Mukteshwar where the mercury touched -1.3 degrees Celsius. The maximum temperature in Dehra Dun was 8.9 degrees Celsius that was about ten degrees Celsius below normal.
The Dehra Dun District Magistrate has ordered closure of all schools in Chakrata tehsil upto January 28 and in Mussoorie, Rishikesh and Dehra Dun city upto January 22.
Biting cold with rain forced people indoors in the plains. The few who had to venture out to reach workplaces or hospitals were stuck as very few buses or other public transport plied in Dehra Dun, Haridwar, Roorkee, Haldwani and other towns on Saturday.
The rain and snow was good for the crops and would also recharge the aquifers, Anand Sharma director, State Meteorological Centre said adding that the weather would start clearing up on Sunday. He advised people rushing to the hills to take precautions to keep themselves warm.