Rain disrupts air traffic, but most of Himachal has snowfall

Last Updated: Thu, Dec 30, 2010 09:20 hrs

Shimla, Dec 30 (IANS) Air connectivity in Himachal Pradesh was partially disrupted Thursday owing to bad climatic conditions in the hill state, an official said here.

While the lower areas of the state received moderate to heavy rains, bringing the temperature down considerably, Himachal Pradesh's picturesque tourist spot Manali got fresh spells of snowfall early Thursday morning.

Dharamsala, Shimla, Solan, Kasauli, Nahan and Mandi received moderate to heavy rains.

'Flights from Delhi to Shimla and from Delhi to Kullu were cancelled due to rains,' a Kingfisher Airlines official said here.

The Delhi-Dharamsala flight that normally arrives at 12.30 p.m. was running much behind schedule.

Earlier, to and fro flights between the state and Delhi were suspended Dec 26 owing to heavy fog in Delhi.

The state capital town of Shimla has recorded 28 mm of rain so far, and the minimum temperature Thursday was 4.1 degrees Celsius.

The queen of hills is yet to taste the season's first snow, however, though nearby hills have been getting snowfall.

'Manali and its nearby tourist spots have been receiving good snowfall. This is the first significant snowfall of the season in Manali,' Meteorological Office Director Manmohan Singh told IANS here.

He said that Manali has got 22 cm of snow so far, whereas the Rohtang Pass, just 52 km from Manali, has been covered with 34 cm of snow.

'Kufri and its nearby areas received more than 15 cm of snowfall. These places experienced season's first snow Wednesday.'

Other popular spots Narkanda, 65 km from Shimla, the Solang Valley and Marhi near Manali also experienced moderate snowfall.

Singh said Kalpa in Kinnaur district and Keylong in Lahaul and Spiti district received 22 cm and 16 cm of snowfall respectively.

'The entire belt in Kinnaur, Lahaul and Spiti, Kullu and Chamba district witnessed moderate to heavy snowfall during the past 24 hours,' he added.

The Met department's forecast said the western disturbances - storm systems originating from Caspian Sea in the Central Asia and moving across the Afghanistan-Pakistan region - are likely to be active by New Year's eve.