Jammu, Nov 15 (PTI) The mercury today registered a marked dip here in the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir whose wide parts were lashed by rains, ending over two months of long dry spell.

As the weathermen forecast more rain in the coming days, the traffic authorities advised commuters to avoid night travel on Jammu-Srinagar highway due to looming threat of shooting stones and landslides.

“In the event of wet weather, occuring of shooting stones or landslides on the highway are most likely,” a spokesman of the traffic department said.

However, the highway the only all weather road linking Kashmir with rest of the country is open for passenger traffic from both sides despite rains, he added.

Light rains lashed Jammu and other parts of the region last evening, marking an end to over two months long dry spell.

Jammu city had recorded the highest 4.4 mm of rainfall during the past 24 hours ending 8.30 am this morning, a spokesman of the MET office said.

“The highway townships of Batote and Banihal experienced 3.0 mm and 1.7 mm of rains, respectively, while the Katra town, the base camp for the pilgrims visiting Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine, received 2.8 mm of rainfall,” he added.

Reports of rainfall were also received from other districts of the region including Rajouri, Kishtwar and Doda districts, officials said.

People have been praying for rain as Jammu city had last recorded 9.2 mm of rainfall long back on September 7, the day when the monsoon withdrew eight days ahead of the normal schedule.

The winter capital recorded 870 mm of rainfall during the monsoon this season, which accounts for a shortfall of 410 mm against the average of 1280 mm for the last three decades.

Monsoon season usually begins in Jammu on the first week of July.

The MET spokesman said the night temperature yesterday recorded in Jammu dropped by over two degrees to settle at 11.9 degrees Celsius, while the maximum temperature recorded was 23.6 degrees Celsius against 25.6 of the previous day.

The minimum and maximum temprature, said the spokesman, was one degree and three degrees below normal during this part of the season respectively.

The minimum temperature recorded in Banihal was 5 degrees Celsius, Batote (6.7), Katra (10.6) and Bhaderwah (7.5), he mentioned.

The spokesman has predicted scattered to widespread rains in the plains, and snowfall in the higher reaches during the next two days.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.