Shimla, January 22
Shimla and its surrounding areas experienced mild snowfall followed by rain, bringing cheer to tourists, who thronged the capital this weekend. Thick fog engulfed the area while icy winds lashed the region.
Tourists rushed out of their hotels and danced in ecstasy as snowflakes dropped. They were seen enjoying snow on The Ridge and clicking selfies. The hotel industry is hoping that the inflow to the queen of hills will increase as the MeT Department has predicted snow in the coming days
However, tourists were deprived of the fascinating sight of Shimla under a white blanket of snow that was washed away by rain. The tourist resort of Kufri recorded 5 cm of snow, followed by Gondla, Hansa and Dalhousie 3 cm, Kalpa 2 cm and Keylong 1 cm.
The local MeT office has issued an orange warning of heavy rainfall, thunderstorm and lightning in Kullu and Chamba districts and heavy snowfall in Kinnaur and Lahaul and Spiti districts. Besides, it has issued a yellow warning of heavy rain and snowfall in Shimla and rain and thunderstorm in other districts tomorrow.
Disruptions in essential services such as water and electricity supply, telecommunication and related services could be expected. Visibility was likely to decrease and the possibility of landslides due to heavy rain and snowfall could not be ruled out, the Met office added.
Meanwhile, 147 roads (108 in Lahaul and Spiti, 24 in Mandi, eight in Kullu, five in Chamba and one each in Shimla and Sirmaur districts) are closed and 34 water supply schemes are disrupted.
Upper Shimla areas are experiencing snowfall, rendering roads slippery on the Kufri-Fagu stretch, Narkanda, Khirki and Kharapathar. The police have advised commuters to avoid travelling to high-altitude areas during night.
Saloni with 23 mm of rainfall was the wettest, followed by Manali 10 mm, Mandi 9 mm, Kasol, Jogindernagar and Nahan 6 mm each, Una, Baijnath, Kothi and Sundernagar 5 mm each, Hamirpur, Banjar and Bijahi 4 mm each and Shimla 2 mm.
Keylong was the coldest at minus 7.2°C. The maximum temperatures decreased by 2 to 3 degrees and Bilaspur recorded a high of 15°C.