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J&K yet to witness summer bloom, experts term ongoing erratic weather as ‘true’ form of weather

Soon after the end of March, which ideally marks the end of winter J&K, people in the region anticipate warmer, J&K weather

By Jahangir Sofi
New Update
J&K yet to witness summer bloom, experts term ongoing erratic weather as ‘true’ form of weather

Month of April records 13% excess rains in J&K, Ladakh, summer capital Srinagar records 76% increase in precipitation

Soon after the end of March, which ideally marks the end of winters in J&K, people in the region anticipate warmer and sunny days, however, the valley along with the parts of Jammu and Ladakh is witnessing erratic weather conditions over the past two months with mercury showing downward trends.

The weather experts are attributing the current state of weather as a ‘true form’ of weather saying that March, April, and May are the wettest among all the months in J&K and Ladakh.

A senior Scientist at Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) and Deputy Director for Srinagar weather station Dr. Mukthar Ahmad told Ground Report that there is nothing uncommon in the ongoing weather patterns, stating that the current weather according to the climatology is the actual form of weather which is supposed to be in March, April, and May in J&K and Ladakh.

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Deputy Director MeT Srinagar weather station, Dr. Mukthar Ahmad while speaking to Ground report at IMD's office in Srinagar. Photo Credit: Jahangir Sofi/Ground Report

What does last Six year data say

Stating that during the last few years the month of April recorded less rainfall, the month this year has recorded a rainfall of 112.9 MM against a normal of 99.5 mm – registering an increase of 13% in the average precipitation.

Sharing the rainfall data of the last six years for April, Deputy Director for Srinagar MeT station said that the year 2022 recorded a rainfall of 36.4 MM, recording a deficit of around 65 % with the month registering a maximum temperature of 28.9 °.

As per the data, in the year 2021, the month of April recorded 126.3 MM – registering an increase of 26% with the mercury settling at a maximum of 27.5°, while April 2020 recorded 63.6 MM rainfall recording a deficit of around 36 %.

“April 2019 recorded 45.3 MM of rainfall in Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, in 2018 April it recorded 109 MM of rainfall and in 2017 April there was almost flood in the valley when it recorded a rainfall of 222 MM”, he said.

Western Disturbances in April 2023

Dr. Mukthar said that April 2023 according to their MeT data witnessed the arrival of five ‘active western Disturbances’ (WDs) in Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh which slightly led to an increase in the average precipitation.

“Along with the arrival of frequent WDs in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, the month of April witnessed five active WDs which remained active with showering strikes from 1-6 April, 16-22 April, and 26-28 April”, he stated.

Colder Weather, people tap back to warmer clothes

As the temperature has been behaving erratically over the last few months, people in the valley are tapping back the light warmer clothes, with school-going children yet to wear summer wear uniforms.

J&K yet to witness summer bloom, experts term ongoing erratic weather as ‘true’ form of weather
Children make their way to school amidst heavy rainfall in Srinagar. Photo Credit: Jahangir Sofi/Ground Report

The April month of 2023 also witnessed light snowfall in upper reaches intermittently, while Gulmarg received 16.4 cm of snowfall.

Rainfall in J&K, Ladakh in April 2023

According to the district-wise rainfall data shared by the officials at Srinagar Weather station for April 2023, some areas received more than double the precipitation than normal, with district Baramulla receiving rainfall of 212.6 MM against the normal of 113.6 MM.

Similarly, north Kashmir’s other district— Bandipora against a normal of 72 MM of rainfall for April 2023 received 163.5 MM of rainfall, while frontier district Kupwara received 196.6 MM of rainfall against a normal of 139.5 MM. Kulgam district in South Kashmir recorded 179.3 MM of rainfall against a normal of 124.8 MM.

The summer capital Srinagar recorded a 76 % increase in rainfall in April 2023 recording 165 MM against a normal of 93.9 MM.

Changing patterns of precipitation

Notably, a 2021 preliminary study on the changing patterns of temperature and precipitation in Srinagar, to identify the trends of temperature and precipitation in Srinagar in which data pertaining to temperature and precipitation was collected from the IMD, Meteorological Centre Rambagh, Srinagar between 1987 and 2014.

J&K yet to witness summer bloom, experts term ongoing erratic weather as ‘true’ form of weather
Erratic weather conditions hit J&K after end of winter season. Photo Credit: Jahangir Sofi/Ground Report

The study revealed clear trends of both increasing and decreasing precipitation on a monthly, seasonal, and yearly basis from the period 1987-2014, mentioning that the decreasing precipitation in the December and January is a clear signal of the delaying of winter in the region.

“This unusual change or variation in temperature and precipitation is probably due to large-scale changes in the land use –land cover witnessed by the study area during the period 1982-2011. The results of temperature and precipitation patterns of the present study are in agreement with the findings of other studies on climate change in the Himalayas and Kashmir Valley”, observes the study.

Rainfall in Jammu Division

In the Jammu division, the highest rainfall was recorded in the Poonch district receiving 169 MM rains against a normal of 118.2 MM, while district Doda recorded precipitation of 154.1 MM against a normal of 117.6 MM.

The Kishtwar district in Jammu division, as per the MeT data has received only 16 MM of rainfall in April against a normal of 117.6 MM.

Precipitation In Ladakh

According to the data, not only was there an increase in the precipitation in both divisions of J&K for April 2023, but Ladakh union territory also recorded an overall increase in precipitation in the region, with district Kargil recording 25.6 MM of rainfall, with it’s normal range standing at 2.8 MM.

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Dal Lake in Srinagar mesmerizes as rainfall creates a beautiful scene, adding to the 76% increase in precipitation. Photo Credit: Jahangir Sofi/Ground Report

Spike in rainfall in J&K

According to the MeT at Srinagar station, during the week (21st April -27th April 2023) Jammu Region received 29.80% above normal rainfall and Kashmir Region received 62.63% above normal rainfall.

Weather Forecast

Meanwhile, the weather department on Thursday forecasted generally cloudy weather with the possibility of rain at several places during the next 24 hours, night temperature continued to record a drop and settled below normal at most places in Jammu and Kashmir.

According to the meteorological department officials, on May 5, the weather is likely to be fair to partly cloudy, stating that a Brief spell of rain/thunderstorm can't be ruled out towards late afternoon/evening. From May 6-8, they have forecasted the chances of rain in many places.

However, from May 7-8, the officials said, there are chances of rain at ‘many places’, and have further informed the tourists to keep warmer clothes, stating that the weather was likely to be colder till May 8.

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