Unusual snowfall in May has caused a dip in mercury in hilly regions of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. Pahalgam, Betaab Valley, and Manali were covered in white and powdery snow while the lower regions experienced rainfall. Videos shared by PTI showed the regions blanketed in snow, giving an impression of winter in May.
The Jammu Kashmir Disaster Management Authority (JKDMA) issued an avalanche warning for Baramulla for 24 hours, with a possibility of an avalanche with a low danger level above 3000 meters above sea level. The snowfall in Manali brought down the temperatures significantly in nearby areas.
The local Meteorological office predicted light to moderate rain in low and mid hills and light rain and snow in higher reaches on May 8 and 9. The fresh snowfall and rain caused a sharp fall in minimum temperatures which stayed two to eight degrees below normal, on Sunday. Parts of Sundernagar, Shimla, Bhuntar, Kangra, Nahan, and Nurpur were hit by thunderstorms while gusty winds swept Nurpur and Bilaspur. However, reports of damage to crops and fruits came from Hamirpur, Bilaspur, and Una.
This snowfall comes a week after the Char Dham Yatra had to be halted due to heavy snowfall and rain in low-lying areas. The JKDMA warned people to exercise caution in high-altitude areas and take precautions while traveling through them. The weather department also issued a ‘yellow’ warning of thunderstorms and lightning on May 8, asking people to stay indoors.