Parts of Himachal Pradesh, including Jakho peak in Shimla and adjoining areas of Kufri, received fresh snowfall on Friday, leading to a marginal increase in tourist footfall in the state capital, officials said.
The higher reaches of Himachal Pradesh witnessed light to moderate snowfall while intermittent rains occurred across the state under the influence of western disturbances, leading to the closure of 380 roads, they said.
The occupancy in hotels is expected to rise from the current 50 per cent to 70 to 80 per cent by Saturday as the snowfall is likely to increase the tourist rush on the weekend, said President of Tourism Industry Stakeholders' Association M K Seth.
Jalori Jot and Rohtang Pass in Kullu received over 60 and 45 cm of snow while the south portal of the Atal Tunnel and Chansel each witnessed 30 cm of snowfall.
Chaurdhar and Dodrakwar recorded 25 cm of snow, Khadrala 16 cm, Manali 11 cm, and Jakho peak in Shimla and adjoining areas of Kufri received three to 10 cm of snow.
Manali, Gohar and Tinder received 16 mm, 11 mm and 8.3 mm of rain followed by Nahan and Bhuntar each logging 5.7 mm of rainfall.
National Highway 3 and 305 were blocked at Rohtang Pass and Jalori Pass while the Gramphu to Lossar stretch of National Highway 505 was also closed due to heavy snow.
As many as 182 roads were closed for vehicular traffic in Lahaul and Spiti, 68 in Shimla, 53 in Kullu, 29 in both Mandi and Kinnaur, 14 in Chamba, three in Sirmaur and two in Kangra districts.
The local meteorological office has predicted a wet spell in the region till January 26 with light rain and snow at isolated places on January 21 and 22 and light to moderate snow at many places in mid and high hills on January 23.
The weather has brought cheers to tourists and hoteliers as well as apple growers pinning their hope bumper produce.
However, normal life was affected in several parts of due to normal to medium rains since Thursday night.
People were forced to remain indoors and had to wrap themselves in layers of heavy woolens to protect themselves from the cold wave.
The showers have been a saviour for Rabi crops that had started to wither for want of rains.
Key tourist resorts of Narkanda, Kufri, Dalhousie, Manali, Shimla, Kasauli and Dharamshala recorded a maximum temperature of minus 1.8 degrees, 0.8 degrees, 1.5 degrees, 1.8 degrees, 4.1 degrees, 6.6 degrees and 9 degrees Celsius.