Shimla, Jan 10 (IANS) Moderate to heavy snowfall may occur across Himachal Pradesh from Thursday to Satureay and the government has advised residents and tourists not to venture to the higher reaches.
An advisory has been issued against venturing to the high hills of Shimla, Kullu, Sirmaur, Chamba, Lahaul-Spiti and Kinnaur districts as chances of heavy snowfall and landslides are high till January 12, a government spokesperson told IANS here.
He said even the snow-bound areas near the tourist resort of Manali like Solang, Beas Kund, Nehru Kund, Gulaba and Marhi should be avoided.
The Kullu administration has advised residents to stay indoors to avoid any untoward incidents.
Motorists are warned to be cautious while driving in the interiors as chances of road cave-ins and landslides are high after heavy snow.
The weather bureau in Shimla predicted more snowfall between January 11 and 12.
Most of the prominent tourist towns like Shimla, Narkanda, Kufri, Kalpa, Dalhousie and Manali are likely to have light to moderate spells of snowfall, meteorological office director Manmohan Singh told IANS.
He said western disturbances -- storm systems originating from Caspian Sea and moving across the Afghanistan-Pakistan region -- are likely to be active in the region from the evening of January 10 and would remain active till January 13.
"The impact of the western disturbance will be largely seen in the state on January 12 with possibility of heavy snowfall in high hills of Shimla, Kinnaur, Sirmaur, Kullu, Chamba and Lahaul-Spiti districts," he said.
Lower areas of the state like Dharamsala, Palampur, Solan, Nahan, Bilaspur, Una, Hamirpur and Mandi towns are likely to see widespread rain that will bring down the temperatures considerably.
Shimla on Thursday recorded the minimum temperature at 3.7 degrees Celsius, while it was minus five degree in Kalpa, minus 2.6 degree in Manali, 3.2 degrees in Dalhousie, 1.2 degrees in Kufri and 4.2 degrees in Dharamsala.
Keylong recorded a low of minus 10.2 degree Celsius, the state's lowest.
Areas near Shimla like Kufri and Narkanda and popular tourist resorts of Manali and Dalhousie are still covered in a thick blanket of snow.