Tribune News Service
Srinagar, December 8
The air traffic to and from the Kashmir Valley was suspended on Sunday as the region was enveloped in a thick fog that reduced the early morning visibility to less than 100m.
A senior official at the Srinagar International Airport – the only civilian airport in Kashmir Valley – said all 28 flights scheduled to arrive in Kashmir valley were cancelled “due to very poor visibility”.
“All operations and flights were suspended today due to very poor visibility caused by the fog. If weather permits, we will resume the operations tomorrow,” the official said.
The official said the visibility during the early morning hours was “less than 100m”. The visibility partially improved during the day, but was not enough to resume the operations.
The visibility at 10 am was 500m and at 2 pm, it was 600m, the official said.
The suspension of air traffic is not rare during the winter in Kashmir Valley and has regularly happened due to inclement weather conditions that include snowstorms and poor visibility.
The thick fog across Kashmir valley including in the summer capital Srinagar, has continued for the second consecutive day as the region battles early winter and freezing climatic conditions.
An official of the Srinagar Meteorological Centre said the foggy conditions would continue in the region for the next two days, but the intensity will gradually decline. The official said there was a forecast for light rain and snow on Tuesday and Wednesday which will ease the foggy spell.
The Indian Meteorological Department, in its forecast bulletin, said the intensity of the precipitation would be maximum on Thursday and Friday with widespread rain and snow and also isolated heavy falls over Jammu and Kashmir.
Kashmir Valley has remained in the grip of severe cold during the past week as night temperatures across the region have plummeted several degrees below the freezing point.
In Srinagar, the main city of Kashmir Valley, and in other towns and resorts of the region, the minimum temperatures over the last five nights have been freezing.
The early arrival of winter has been marked by several spells of snowfall last month, which led to icy cold winds in the region and accumulation of heavy snow in the high altitudes areas and mountains.
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