High altitude tribal areas of Lahaul and Spiti, Kinnuar, Dhauladhar ranges in Kangra, Churdhar ranges in Sirmaour and Rohtang, Kunzam, Saach and Chansel passes are experiencing intermittent heavy snowfall since morning and Lahaul and Pangi valleys have been cut off due to closure of Rohtang pass which received 40 cm of snow till Thursday evening.
Intense cold wave gripped Lahaul, Spiti, Pangi, Kullu, Kangra, Pin-Parvati, Pooh and Samdoh as mercury dipped 5 to 10 degree Celsius below freezing point.
Dhauladhar and Churdhar ranges are experiencing heavy snowfall creating severe cold wave conditions in lower valley areas while Dodra-Kwar in Shimla has been cut off due to closure of Chansel pass.
Helicopter sorties to tribal areas were disrupted due to inclement weather and Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, who was to visit Lahaul and Spiti district, had to return from Samdoh.
Keylong received 10 cm snow till this evening while higher reaches in tribal areas are experiencing heavy snowfall, reports reaching here said.
The minimum temperature dropped by 3 to 5 degrees and stayed below freezing point in most parts in tribal areas and below normal in rest of the state.
Lahaul and Spiti Deputy Commissioner BS Thakur said that food grains and other essential commodities have been stocked in adequate quantity in tribal areas and arrangements for holding winter games are in place.
LPG cylinders would be transported from Manali as soon as Rohtang is cleared, he said.
Yogesh Nayyar of Border Roads Organization (BRO) said that efforts would be made to open Rohtang pass immediately after the snowfall stops and the pass would be kept open for maximum period during the winters.
Shimla was lashed by sharp showers accompanied by high velocity icy winds. The minimum temperature dipped to 7.1 degrees Celsisus while maximum temperature plummeted to 14.2 degrees Celsius.
Elsewhere in the state, maximum temperatures dropped by 2 to 4 degrees and Una in the foothills was warmest during the state with maximum temperature at 25 degrees while Solan and Kangra recorded a high of 22 degrees, followed by Sundernagar 21.6 degrees Celsius, Nahan 21 degrees Celsius, Bhuntar and Dharamsala 20.5 degrees Celsius and 20.2 degrees Celsius and Kalpa 5.6 degrees Celsius.
Manali received 18 mm of rains followed by Dalhousie 10 mm, Tissa 8 mm and Udaipur, Bharmaur and Saloni 4 mm each.


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