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Updated January 31st, 2024 at 15:49 IST

Snow Blankets Himachal Pradesh: 134 Roads Blocked, Normalcy Hit in Tribal Areas | Details Inside

Himachal Pradesh’s weather shift has brought relief to farmers and fruit and vegetable growers who had suffered significant crop losses during a dry spell.

Isha Bhandari
Heavy Snowfall Disrupts Normal Life in Himachal Pradesh
Heavy Snowfall Disrupts Normal Life in Himachal Pradesh | Image:Republic
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Himachal weather update: Himachal Pradesh experienced the first major snowfall of the year, leading to the closure of 134 roads, including four national highways. Himachal Pradesh’s tribal areas and high reaches were particularly affected, prompting the shutdown of key transportation routes. The local Meteorological Office issued an orange warning, forecasting continued heavy snow and rains on January 31 and February 1. Himachal Pradesh’s weather shift has brought relief to farmers and fruit and vegetable growers who had suffered significant crop losses during a dry spell in the Northern State. 

"The wet spell is likely to be beneficial for the Rabi crops," stated a spokesperson from the Agriculture department, highlighting potential positive outcomes for Himachal Pradesh’s agricultural sector.

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Himachal Pradesh Weather Update: Tourism and Allied Industries Optimistic 

Himachal Pradesh’s tourism and allied industries stakeholders are optimistic as the long-awaited snowfall is expected to boost tourist arrivals. Popular tourist destinations like Manali, Dalhousie, Sangla, Narkanda, and Kufri experienced moderate snowfall, creating enthusiasm among local businesses.

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The previous monsoon disaster had impacted Manali and Shimla, resulting in a low room occupancy of about 60% on New Year, the lowest in four decades. 

Local hoteliers are hopeful that the current snowfall will increase tourist footfall, anticipating improved business in the coming days.

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Kumumseri in Lahaul and Spiti recorded 14.2 cm of snow, with other regions experiencing varying degrees of snowfall and rain. However, these weather changes have not come without consequences. 

A maximum of 120 roads are closed in Lahaul and Spiti district, and approximately 400 transformers have been disrupted in the state, leading to disruptions in essential services like water, electricity, and communications.

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The cold wave conditions persist in lower hills, with Kukumseri being the coldest at night, recording a minimum temperature of minus 2.8 degrees Celsius. The Meteorological Department predicts three or four spells of heavy rains or snowfall in various districts during this period.

The recent dry spell, with a 99% rain deficit in January 2022 and an 83% deficit in December 2023, has now given way to heavy snowfall. 

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However, the forecast warns that this snowfall may cause disruptions in essential services and reduce visibility.

Himachal Pradesh Weather Affects School 

The impact of the low temperatures and rain is also felt in Hamirpur district, where the attendance of primary students has been affected. 

Parents are opting to keep their children at home due to the cold weather and chilly winds, highlighting the broader impact of the extreme weather conditions on daily life in the region.

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Published January 31st, 2024 at 15:45 IST

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