Rains bring relief from heat

File PIC: HABIB NAQASH/GK

Rains lashed Kashmir on Thursday which dropped the temperature by several notches bringing a sigh of relief among people. The Valley has been witnessing its hottest August in the last several decades but intermittent rainfall since Wednesday morning has helped to bring an end to the prolonged dry spell.

Afternoon showers in Srinagar and other districts of the Valley even lead to water logging at several places.

Summer capital Srinagar which had sizzled at 35.7 degree Celsius on August 17, cooled down after the spell of rainfall and recorded 26.7 degree Celsius on Thursday. It may be recalled that at 35.7 degree Celsius, Srinagar had witnessed its hottest August day in the last 39 years. Meanwhile, ski-resort Gulmarg witnessed pleasant weather on Thursday as it recorded a maximum temperature of 18 degree Celsius. As per MeT data, Srinagar recorded 4.6 millimetre rainfall and Qazigund 2.4 mm, Gulmarg 5.2 mm, Kokernag 1.1 mm, Jammu 4.6 mm, Banihal 10 mm, Batote 61 mm and winter capital Jammu 4.6 mm rainfall on Thursday.

In a weather forecast issued on Wednesday, Director MeT, Sonam Lotus had said that rainy weather will continue till Friday with heavy showers likely in Jammu division. The MeT official had also warned about “possible flash floods and landslides in Jammu region due to heavy rainfall”. The downpour on Thursday witnessed shooting stones and landslides at various places on the 270-kilometre Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, causing disruption in movement of traffic.

With the spell of rain across Kashmir, farmers also heaved a sigh of relief since the scarcity of water has adversely affected both rain-fed, irrigated paddy crops in the Valley. It may be recalled that both Jammu & Kashmir has witnessed a “deficient rainfall” of 54 per cent below normal between June 1 and August 17, which had put Valley’s farm produce on the brink of suffering huge losses. Shopian district in south Kashmir has recorded the highest rainfall deficit of 94 per cent below normal while Kargil district recorded a rainfall deficit of 89 per cent below normal between June 1 and August 17, said MeT data. During this period, J&K has received 166.8 millimetres rainfall as compared to the normal of 362.2 mm rainfall, the MeT data said.