MeT changes forecast, says weather to remain dry till January 20

Kashmir is in the middle Chillai-Kalan, the 40-day winter period which commenced on December 21 and ends on January 31. Photo: Aman Farooq/ GK

After predicting snowfall on January 18 and 19, the Meteorological Department on Tuesday issued another forecast which said weather in Jammu and Kashmir “will remain dry till January 20”.

Earlier on Monday, MeT had issued a forecast saying there could be possible snowfall during January 18 and 19 and its intensity will be known in a day or two.

In the latest forecast, Director MeT Sonam Lotus said: “As on date, weather will remain dry till January 20 throughout J&K. Outlook for subsequent one week till January 27 is no forecast for any major snowfall/rainfall. However, light/snow may occur at isolated places,” Lotus said.

Earlier, the MeT had failed to forecast the January 9 snowfall which had caused cancellation of 21 flights at the Srinagar International Airport. After missing out on issuing the snow forecast, speaking with Greater Kashmir, Director MeT Sonam Lotus had said that “there was need for a dedicated weather model for J&K for accurate weather observations”. Lotus had also said that there was an inordinate delay in installation of a Doppler radar at Banihal Top which can help in weather observations.

Temperatures:

Kashmir continues to be gripped amidst severe cold wave conditions. The maximum temperature in summer capital Srinagar on Tuesday was recorded at 5.4 degrees Celsius. There was a drop witnessed in the minimum temperature on Monday night, recorded in Srinagar at minus 0.9 degrees Celsius causing several water bodies including parts of Dal Lake to freeze. The ski-resort Gulmarg in Baramulla recorded minus 11.2 degrees Celsius on Monday night, making it the coldest recorded station in the Valley. Pahalgam in south Kashmir recorded minus 5.3 degrees Celsius.

Earlier , a heavy snowfall from January 3 to 6 had thrown normal life out of gear and snapped both surface and air traffic from the Valley for four consecutive days. Other essential services including power supply had also been affected due to the heavy snowfall.

Presently, Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai-Kalan’ – the 40-day harshest winter period when a cold wave grips the region and the temperature drops considerably leading to the freezing of water bodies including the Dal Lake as well as the water supply lines in several parts of the valley.

The chances of snowfall are the most frequent and maximum during this period and most areas, especially in the higher reaches, receive heavy snowfall.