More snow in store for Himachal on New Year’s eve

Shimla, Dec 30: Spelling good news for revellers who want to celebrate a white New Year’s eve in the hills of Himachal Pradesh, the Met Office Monday forecast snow in some areas in the state before the next year dawns.

“There are chances of snowfall across the state as the western disturbances will remain active in the state till Dec 31,” Manmohan Singh, director of the meteorological office here, told IANS.

The term western disturbances is used for storm systems originating from Caspian Sea in the Central Asia and moving across the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.

Some areas in mid and high hills are likely to experience heavy snowfall, he added.

He said there might be one or two mild spells of snow late Monday evening too.

Singh said chances of snow in Shimla, Kufri, Narkanda, Manali, Kalpa, Chitkul and Dalhousie are high.

Shimla Monday recorded a low of 2.5 degrees Celsius. The town’s commercial centre the Mall Road, the historic Ridge, the US Club and Jakhu hills received snowfall, the season’s first, on Dec 22 but it melted within a few hours.

However, nearby destinations like Kufri and Narkanda are still covered with snow.

Narkanda, the heart of the apple belt some 65 km from here, has good accumulation of snow, said the Met office.

Manali in Kullu district, about 250 km from here, is also wrapped under a blanket of snow.

Keylong in Lahaul and Spiti district was the coldest place in the state at minus 8.9 degrees Celsius.

It was 5.2 degrees above the freezing point in Dharamsala, minus 5 degrees in Kalpa, and minus 3 degrees in Manali.

Those in the hospitality industry are happy as they are expecting a record number of footfalls on the last day of the year.

“Snowfall is always an added attraction for the tourists,” said Clarke’s Hotel general manager D.P. Bhatia.

According to the Met office, it snowed in Shimla on New Year’s eve in 1990, 1995, 2000 and 2002.