Unusual weather events particularly heavy rain accompanied by hailstorms have kept weathermen busy since the start for the year. This time it was Himachal Pradesh which faced the wrath of unseasonal heavy rain and a strong hailstorm that caused much damage to the apple crop.
According to the latest weather update by Skymet Meteorology Division in India, after a stormy weather in Himachal Pradesh on Sunday, weather is expected to turn dry on Tuesday as the Western Disturbance will move northeastwards. On Monday, the remnants of the Western Disturbance may give light isolated rain in the higher reaches of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh.
Weather on Sunday
Massive hailstorm and rain lashed many parts of Himachal Pradesh throwing normal life out of gear and plummeting mercury by up to 13 degree Celsius. While heavy downpour and hail forced people to rush indoors, a sudden fall in mercury made tourists pull out heavy woolens at night.
Shimla recorded a maximum of 24.4⁰C on Sunday against 30⁰C on Saturday, which was the hottest day of the season in the city. Shimla received 54 mm of rain till 8:00 am on Monday while Dharamsala and Kangra were drenched with 58 mm and 61 mm rains respectively within five hours.
Other cities to receive rain were Manali 12 mm, Sundernagar 17 mm, Kullu 14 mm Keylong 7 mm, Hamirpur 9 mm and Bhuntar 16 mm. Paonta Sahib recorded 20 mm of rain followed by Chamba 16 mm, Baldwara 12 mm, Kalatop 9 mm, Sainj 7 mm and Bilaspur 4 mm.
Manali recorded minimum temperature at 13.6⁰C against 25.2⁰C on Sunday, a drop of about 12 degrees.
In Shimla town, most of the roads including the Mall Road were filled with stones, mud debris, choking the drains. A fresh spell of snow in the higher altitudes, led to closing of the Rohtang Pass once again. The HRTC buses from Keylong to Manali had to return midway. The farmers are worried as hailstorm and heavy rains are considered damaging for apple and other fruit crops.
Heavy rain, untimely snowfall, hailstorm and high-velocity winds have triggered a loss of Rs 88.39 crore to the horticulture crop in the state so far this year. In Kangra and Una mango crop was hit by heavy rain and high-velocity winds earlier in April. Besides, a hailstorm had battered majority of apple growing pockets of Shimla in the first week of May.
Photo by Tribune