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Wait Gets Longer For First Snowfall Of Season At Popular Resorts Srinagar, Manali, Shimla

January 9, 2024 5:15 PM |

Lower and mid-level mountains of North India still await the first snowfall of the season.  Wait seems to be getting longer. Jinx has to break only by an active western disturbance, not anywhere on the horizon, so far. This season will be listed as one of the most delayed snowfall seasons in the northern mountains.

Christmas and New Year's Eve are the preferred periods for the first spell of snow. It is more so for Srinagar first and closely followed by Manali and Shimla in that order. An active western disturbance, preferably supported by induced cyclonic circulation in the plains, is ideal for creating a favourable scenario.  Mild weather systems or westerly troughs moving across in the northern latitudes mostly affect the higher reaches of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. Later, with a lag of a day or two, Himachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand also witness similar weather conditions. However, no such development seems to be building up, keeping all the enthusiasts in a lurch and dilemma.

 Last season, Srinagar witnessed its first snowfall on 29th Dec 2022. Even the other two resorts of Manali and Shimla kept a date with New Year's Eve and recorded the maiden snow of the season on 30 Dec 2022. The current season, surely is a dampener, suppressing the excitement of tourists. The earlier prediction of likely snow around the new year time was defied. Hopes were washed away and the chances remain gloomy, even after the passage of the first week of January.

Kashmir is undergoing the harshest period of winter season, named Chillai Kalan. Dry cold has remained the most prevalent and a blanket of snow is still awaited for the Kashmir Valley. Chillai Kalan is an event of 40 days commencing 21 Dec and going on till 30 Jan.  With the dry cold, the water bodies have frozen, including Dal Lake. Water pipes and taps have gone dry under similar conditions.  Glacier snow is not replenished, so far. Reservoirs and water bodies have dropped their reserves, leaving anxious moments.

There is no active western disturbance expected in the next 10 days or so.  Weak systems will run across the northern heights between 12-13 Jan and another one closely following on 16-17 Jan. Both may not suffice to paint the Valley white, with a sheet of snow.  It is an alarming situation for the crops and ecological balance as well.

Image Credit: englishtribune

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