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Snow disrupts life in Himachal and J&K, more snow, rainfall expected

On January 31, snowfall disrupted daily life in Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir, while rainfall in parts of northern India increased

By groundreportdesk
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Heavy snowfall, rain and hail to hit parts of India, IMD warns

On January 31, snowfall disrupted daily life in Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir, while rainfall in parts of northern India increased the winter cold.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecasts that rainfall in February will be above normal across the country. After a drier December and January, the IMD predicts that north India, which includes seven meteorological subdivisions, will likely experience rainfall exceeding 122% of the long-term average in February.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) reports that north India, which consists of seven meteorological subdivisions, is most likely to receive above-normal rainfall (more than 122 per cent of the long period average) in February, after experiencing a drier-than-usual December and January.

On Wednesday, the first heavy snowfall of the year disrupted normal life in Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, particularly in the far flung areas and other high reaches. This led to the closure of 134 roads, including four national highways.

Snowfall in Jammu and Kashmir

During the last 24 hours, fresh snowfall and rains fell in Kashmir and Ladakh, and the Meteorological Department (MeT) predicts more precipitation for the next 24 hours. IMD said that there were likely chances of moderate to heavy snowfall in the higher reaches of north, northwest, and south Kashmir areas.

IMD Srinagar in a statement said, "We expect the weather to be generally cloudy during the daytime from January 31 to February 1, with light to moderate rain and snow expected in many places. We anticipate this to continue from late afternoon and evening on January 31 until the afternoon of February 1, with chances of heavy snowfall in select higher reaches of the north, northwestern, and south Kashmir."

In the last 24 hours, Srinagar received 1.9mm of rain, Qazigund 1.2mm, and Kupwara 8mm, while Pahalgam, Kokernag, and Gulmarg received 2.6cm, 1.2cm, and 25cm of snowfall respectively. The Jammu region also experienced rainfall.

Night temperatures increased, with Srinagar recording a low of 2.2°C, which is 2.9°C above the usual for this time of the year. Qazigund recorded a minimum of 0.4°C, Pahalgam a low of 0.1°C, Kokernag a minimum of -0.2°C, Kupwara a low of 1.3°C, and Gulmarg a low of -3.0°C. Jammu recorded a minimum of 10.9°C, which is 2.5°C above normal. Banihal, Batote, and Bhaderwah recorded lows of 1.0°C, 3.0°C, and 1.2°C respectively.

Avalanche warning issued for 6 distts in J&K

In Jammu and Kashmir, many higher areas, including the Srinagar-Leh highway, reported fresh snowfall. The plains experienced rain. Lights to moderate snowfall occurred overnight in tourist spots like Gulmarg, Sonamarg, and Pahalgam. Authorities issued an avalanche warning in six districts - Poonch, Baramulla, Bandipora, Kupwara, Doda, and Ganderbal.

The 40-day severe winter period known as ‘Chilla-i-Kalan’ ended on Tuesday. While there was light to moderate snowfall in the higher areas of the valley towards the end of this period, most of the Chilla-i-Kalan, which usually sees frequent and heavy snowfall, remained dry.

Kashmir faces longest dry spell

Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, has experienced its driest Chilai Kalan, a 40-day period of harsh winter, in the last 60 years. This period typically has the highest chances of rain and snowfall.

The Meteorological department reported that Srinagar received only 1.5 mm of precipitation during this winter’s Chilai Kalan, which runs from December 21 to January 30. The previous record for the driest January was set in 1966, with only 0.6 mm of precipitation.

The Meteorological department has predicted that some lower areas and plains in the North, Northwestern, and South Kashmir region may receive 6-8 inches of snowfall, while the plains of Central Kashmir may receive 2-4 inches of snowfall tonight and tomorrow morning.

On February 2, the weather is likely to be generally dry with a chance of very light snow at isolated higher areas. On February 3 and 4, there could be light to moderate rain and snow in many parts of J&K. The weather is expected to improve from February 5, with dry conditions expected until February 12.

Due to intermittent light to moderate snow over the past three days, significant snow has accumulated over the higher reaches of North and Northwestern parts of the Kashmir division, leading to temporary road closures. Travelers are advised to plan accordingly.

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