Srinagar, Oct 25: Incessant rains in the plains and snow in the hills on Sunday saw Kashmiris shivering as the maximum temperatures dropped by eight to 10 degrees below normal here.
The traditional Kashmiri over-garment called the 'pheran' was worn by locals in the countryside today. The elderly locals were seen holding the earthen fire pots woven in wicker baskets called 'kangri' under their pherans.
"It is like 'Chillai Kalan'. I am wearing two jerseys under the Pheran and still feeling cold," said 75-year-old Ghulam Nabi of Ganderbal district.
'Chillai Kalan' is the 40-day period of bitter cold in the Kashmir Valley that begins on December 21 and ends on January 31 each year. During this period, most water bodies in the Valley get frozen.
"A western disturbance is active over Jammu and Kashmir since yesterday (Saturday) afternoon," Sonam Lotus, director of the local Met Office told IANS here.
"This is causing moderate to heavy rainfall in the plains and snowfall in the higher reaches of the state."
"Gulmarg received season's first snowfall last evening. Similarly, there has been snowfall in Zojilla Pass, Pir Ki Gali on Mughal Road, Sintham Pass and Sadna Top," Lotus added.
"Rain and snowfall conditions will continue till Tuesday afternoon after which the weather will start improving."
Due to snowfall, all mountain pass roads connecting the Valley to the Ladakh region, Rajouri district in Jammu region, Gurez valley and Tangdhar border town have been closed.
The Srinagar-Jammu national highway is, however, open for vehicular traffic.
The maximum temperature fell to 13 degrees Celsius on Saturday, dipping eight degrees below normal here while it fell by an average of 10 degrees in most other places in the plains.