Valley to witness rainy afternoons this summer

Srinagar: After prolonged winter and heavy rainfall in spring this year, valley is likely to witness not-so-hot temperature and rainy afternoons during summers due to frequent western disturbance, the meteorological department said.

The experts say that there is nothing unusual or alarming about it as valley is witnessing change in climatic circles which usually happen after every 30-40 years.
“This year we had frequent strong western disturbances in the valley which caused more precipitation in the form of both snow and rainfall and also brought substantial decrease in temperatures,” said Sonam Lotus, Director State Meteorological Department.
He said that usually Kashmir used to have the gap of 10-15 days between two strong western disturbances during springs and 20-30 days in summers, “but during last few years particularly this year strong western disturbances arrived almost every week.”
He said that western disturbances usually came to Kashmir from Mediterranean Sea or Caspian Sea in the form of waves, but sometimes these waves form deep troughs and pass through Arabian Sea picking more moisture from there before entering into the valley which brings more rains.
“This is what happened last week and Kashmir witnessed cloudy weather and cool temperatures while parts of valley received afternoon showers,” Sonam said.
He also added that Valley is likely to witness same weather during next month as well as apart from western disturbances, monsoon waves may also enter into Kashmir depending on their strength.
The Valley received more rains and snow this year. Quite unusually, a snow storm hit the region in the middle of March, which is otherwise the first month of spring in this part of the world. And afterwards, the rainfall and cold maintained a tight grip over the Valley until recently.
According to Meteorological data, during 2014, Valley received 86.7mm of precipitation in the form of rainfall and snowfall in the month of January, 39.1 mm in February, 220.1 mm in March, 113.7mm in April and 50.9 mm in May.
While during the same period last year, Valley had received 58.7 mm precipitation in January, 111.9 mm in February, 69.4 mm in March, 102 mm in April and 51.8 mm in May.
While the temperature did not go beyond 30 degree Celsius this year, while the maximum temperature recorded in 2013 was 34.1 degrees, 32.6 degrees in 2012, 33.0 degrees in 2011, 32.5 degrees in 2010.
“Climatic cycles do change after every 30-40 years and valley is witnessing these changes right and it is has not happened this year only, but has been going on for last several years,” said Mohammad Ismail Bhat, Professor Geography and Geophysics, Kashmir University.
He also said that these changes are not witnessed in Kashmir only, but all through the world and there are both global and local factors involved in it.
Ghulam Ahmad Bhat, Professor Environment Science, Kashmir University also said that in temperate zones like Kashmir weather changing is a usual phenomenon.
“There is no need to panic about present weather condition of Valley weather changing is usual affair in temperate zones,” said Bhat.
Due to increased rainfall in spring this year, the valley witnessed marginal delay in ripening of fruits, but there is no alarming situation for the overall crop productions this year.
“There was apprehension that the fruit production in valley will be affected due to more alternate dry and wet spells, but the situation is under control now. There is only threat of scab to apple crop which can be controlled by regular spray of pesticides recommended by Agricultural University,” said Zahoor Ahmad Dar, Professor SKUAST.