Staff Correspondent

Cold wave conditions revive; heavy downpour in Shimla

SHIMLA: Cold wave conditions have revived in Himachal Pradesh following a fresh spell of heavy snow in high-altitude areas and widespread rain in mid and lower hills of the State during the past 24 hours. There was a heavy downpour here in Shimla on Tuesday forcing people to stay indoors.

Many of them made the most of it by staying glued to their TV sets tracking the election results in neighbouring Punjab and Uttarakhand. Almost all high-altitude areas in Kinnaur, Lahaul Spiti, Chamba, Kangra, Shimla, Mandi and Sirmaur districts were experiencing the heaviest snowfall of winter so far, while heavy rain lashed the mid and lower hills of the State from Monday night. Shimla Meteorological Department sources informed that the western disturbance laying low over Jammu and Kashmir and other adjoining areas as an upper air cyclonic circulation extending up to 6 km above mean sea level was responsible for the fresh spell of snow and rain in the State. They said that the temperatures are likely to fall in Shimla and other adjoining areas due to fresh snow and rain in the State and the town was likely to receive snow during the next 36 hours.

The weatherman said Rohtang Pass, situated at 13,050 feet, and the gateway to Lahaul Spiti district had recorded over 30 cm of fresh snow on Tuesday, while Rekong Peo, district headquarters of Kinnaur, had recorded over 20 cm of snow. The famous tourist resorts of Kufri, Fagu, Narkanda, Sarahan and Naldehra in Shimla district, Manali in Kullu district and Dalhousie and Khajjiar in Chamba district, Dhauladhar Ranges in Kangra district and Chaurdhar Ranges in Sirmaur district were experiencing fresh spell of intermittent snowfall from Monday night.

The met office sources said the higher reaches of Pangi and Bharmaur were covered under a thick blanket of snow and the Manimahesh Lake in Chamba district had frozen. The higher reaches of the tribal areas, mountain passes and other higher areas were also experiencing snowfall since Monday night, intensifying the cold wave conditions in the State. Normal life was thrown out of gear at several places in lower areas of the State following heavy rain since Monday night followed by strong winds.