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Week Long Dry Weather For Northern Mountains, Rain Deficit May Increase

February 9, 2024 3:39 PM |

The month of January 2024 was extremely poor for the mountain states of North India. Rain and snowfall deficiency was as large as >95%. The state of Uttrakhand was the least performer. Courtesy, back-to-back western disturbances at the start of February, very heavy snowfall was recorded across the mountain ranges. All the popular resorts and attractive snow spots for the visitors relived their charm and thrill. There was spontaneous recovery and the rain deficit was marginalized to a low 30% for Himachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand. Even, Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh recovered half of the shortfall, during a brief period between 01st and 06th Feb.

No active western disturbance has travelled across the northern parts, thereafter. Only mild upper air westerly troughs, not associated with any weather activity, have tracked along the mountain ranges of North India. In line with the scanty weather activity, seasonal deficits have started rising once again. It has exceeded 60% for Jammu & Kashmir and neared 40% in the other two contiguous states. The fear is that this deficiency will mount further in the next week or so.

Dry and cold conditions will prevail over the mountains, well beyond the first fortnight of the month. Sub-zero temperatures will persist over the star-attractive places like Srinagar, Pahalgam, Gulmarg, Manali, Kullu and Dalhousie. Most of these locations will also remain fog-free and the scenic beauty of snow-clad peaks will be unparalleled. However, the prolonged dry conditions increase the threat of avalanches. Sonmarg region has already witnessed a massive avalanche but mercifully spared the loss of any life and assets.

It will be too early to comment upon the timelines for the renewal of wintery activity over the region. But, there are early indications of the approach of an active weather system, sometime at the end of next week. Mountainous terrain tends to modify the basic characteristics of these winter systems. Precise prediction and confirmation will have to wait for the next 3-4 days.

Image Credit: livemint

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