KATHMANDU, Feb 6: As several parts of the country witnessed heavy rain and snowfall due to a westerly disturbance in the weather, Kathmandu Valley shivered, with the maximum temperature plummeting sharply on Tuesday.
Maximum temperature in the Valley was constant at around 25 degrees Celsius over the last week but Monday´s rain brought the mercury down by 11 degrees to 14 degrees Celsius Tuesday.
According to the Meteorological Forecasting Division, this year´s second winter rain started on Monday from the west with sufficient rain as well as snow in the mountains and it may last till Wednesday.
The highlands in the Dhaulagiri area also witnessed late but heavy seasonal snowfall Monday night, according to Republica correspondent Dilip Poudel. The dip in temperatures caused by snowfall affected life in Mustang and the Dhorpatan area of Baglung.
PHOTO: KESHAB THOKER
Chhoser, Chonhup, Lomanthang, Ghami, Charang, Surang, Jomsom, Tukuche and Marpha in upper Mustang were among the places heavily affected by snowfall. According to Dhorpatan local Lal Kumari Thapa, the operation of a micro-hydro plant has been disrupted by snow. Chief of Mustang District Election Office Devi Subedi informed that over 1.5 feet of snow had piled up in the fields.
The old and childern are the most affected by the turn in the weather but tourists trekking in Mustang have been reveling in the snow. According to Santosh Serchan, chief of Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP), water has frozen up. ”This is the heaviest snowfall so far this year. All the hills around this area are covered in snow,” he said.
Flights on the Pokhara-Mustang route were dirupted, hampering tourists leaving or bound for Mustang. Airlines had been making three to five flights daily.
However, farmers are happy with the snow and showers. According to Agriculture Development Office in Mustang, winter crops like wheat, barley and apple will see a good harvest thanks to the snowfall.
PHOTO: BIJAY RAI
"The snowfall is higher this year than last year. It helps the crops where there is no irrigation,” said Senior Agriculure Development Officer Rewati Poudel.
Similarly, Republica correspondent Janak KC reports from Jajarkot that the eastern and northern parts of Jajarkot district also witnessed heavy snow. Villages including Ramdada, Nayakdada, Khaganekot, Paik and Dhime were affected by the snowfall.
School classes and normal life have come to a standstill due to increased cold following the snowfall.