Yet another fresh spell of snow has brought in record snowfall for Shimla in the month of February in the last 12 years. The ‘Queen of Hills’ received 51.5 cm snowfall this month. According to India Meteorological Department Director Manmohan Singh, the Shimla snowfall recorded in the last 24 hours was 8.3 cm.

In February this year, Shimla witnessed snowfall on five days in all, recording 51.5 cm. In 2007, there was 113 cm of snowfall in the month of February, said Singh.

The month of February in 2008 recorded 33 cm snow, while there was 15 cm snow in 2009, no snowfall in 2010, 10 cm in 2011, 24.4 cm in 2012, 20.2 in 2013, 30.0 cm in 2014, 9.0 cm in 2015, 22.6 cm in 2016, 0.6 in 2017, and 13.8 cm in 2018.

The IMD has forecast dry weather in the next two days after which the state will yet again likely to get widespread rain and snowfall across the state, owing to fresh western disturbance from 1 March.

Precipitation will increase on 2 and 3 March, said Singh, adding that on rain or snowfall was very likely at most places 2 March and at many places on 3 March.

Warning of thunderstorm accompanied with hail, likely at one or two places in the lower and mid hills in the state has also been issued by Met officials during these two days.

Famous tourist destination Kufri adjoining Shimla and Manali in Kullu district received 10 cm and 7 cm of snow respectively, while Kalpa in Kinnaur district recorded 13.6 cm of snow.

The snow and rains intensified the cold wave conditions across the state and the minimum temperatures dipped below freezing point in the snowfall areas.

Keylong was the coldest in the state with minimum temperature recorded at -11.0 degree Celsius, Shimla temperature dipped to -1.4 degree Celsius, Kufri -5.0 degree Celsius, Kalpa – 6.0 degree Celsius, Dalhousie -2.0 degree Celsius and Manali -1.0 degree Celsius.

Normal life was thrown out of gear at many places in the state due to fresh snowfall, snapping road connectivity and power cuts. In wake of the snowfall and cold, Shimla Deputy Commissioner Amit Kashyap announced schools in Shimla district to remain closed for Wednesday.

According to Shimla district administration, all roads in Shimla urban were open for traffic. However, the main road between Charabara and Kufri and Kufri-Chail link road, Shimla-Theog and Shimla- Chopal via Chambi and Khidki road were blocked due to snow.

The Shimla – Rohru road via Kharapathar and Narkanda -Thanedhar road was also closed for traffic due to snowfall. Adequate machinery has been deployed to open these roads. Except for Shimla urban, the Himachal Pradesh Road Transport Corporation buses did not ply in any other parts of the district.