Skymet weather

Week Long Snow And Rain Over Northern Mountains, Heavy Whiteout Likely

January 30, 2024 1:20 PM |

Trail of western disturbances is lined up over Jammu & Kashmir, North Pakistan, Afghanistan and further west over the Central Asian region. All these weather-disturbing systems have queued up to run across northern mountains of India, in tandem. Track of the weather systems will nearly be overlapping and therefore hardly any breather in between. Widespread weather activity with rain and snow is likely over mountain ranges of Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand over the next one week, between 30th Jan and 05th Feb 2024.

Northern mountains have remained devoid of snowfall, this winter, so far. A large deficiency of nearly 100%  has been recorded across all the hilly states of North India. Mild activity commenced over the mid and higher reaches last Sunday. Lower hills received light rainfall. Spread and intensity will pick up today and become heavier tomorrow and the day after.  Jammu & Kashmir will have maximal impact, followed by Himachal Pradesh. Uttrakhand will be struck with relatively less fury, except on 31st Jan and 01st Feb, when popular locations in the lower and mid hills may get smashed with equal force.

The first western disturbance has already arrived and the rain & snowfall has started. The intensity and the spread will increase over the next two days. The peak strike is likely tomorrow wherein, all the popular resorts like Srinagar, Patnitop,  Manali, Shimla, and Dalhousie will receive their first snowfall of the season. Even Mussorie and Nainital may have a glimpse of snowflakes and sleet, followed by rain and thundershowers. The hills will get a breathing space on 02nd Feb and only the remnant effect will be observed at most places. The second western disturbance will catch up early on 03rd Feb and the activity will resume on 03rd and 04th Feb, albeit with less vigor than earlier. The remnant effect will be seen on 05th Feb and intense activity will start vacating the mountain ranges, later. Broad and significant clearance will happen around 08th Feb 2024.

The prolonged spell of snowfall may disrupt the connectivity, both road and air, for the states of Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. National Highways and the state auxiliary roads may also get closed on account of inclement weather conditions. The rush of tourists, if any, to witness the snowfall at attractive destinations in the lower hills, may get stranded on account of blockage of connectivity.

Much-awaited snowfall and rain are welcome events for the ecological balance of the region. Glaciers, perennial reservoirs, rivers, streams, and lakes will all get replenished, to support reserves for the upcoming summer months. All the water bodies have hit the bottom low, due to deficient snowfall across the catchment areas. However, caution needs to be exercised during and after the wet spell. Accumulated soft snow getting stacked as mounds of snow pose a serious threat of snow avalanches in the danger areas. The risk of piles of snow sliding down the slopes will grow high.  Also, deep layers of snow, resulting in whiteout have an inherent risk in patrolling for the troops in the vulnerable areas.

Image Credit: India Today

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