IMD predicts 'normal winter' for Jammu and Kashmir

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted that Jammu and Kashmir will witness a ‘normal winter’ as temperatures will remain within expected range. The IMD said this in its winter forecast – “Seasonal temperature outlook from December 2019 to February 2020” – which was issued on Friday.

“There is relatively higher probability for normal minimum temperatures in the core cold wave zone during December 2019 to February 2020,” reads the temperature outlook issued by the IMD. The core cold wave zone covers states of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Orissa and Telangana and MeT subdivisions of Jammu, Kashmir & Ladakh, the outlook says.

However, IMD forecast says that except northern most parts of the county, other parts are likely to experience “warmer than average minimum temperatures.”

An IMD official told Greater Kashmir: “Interaction of cold winds blowing southwards from polar region with the western disturbances has lead to very heavy precipitation in the form of recent snowfall across Kashmir. The scenario is likely to prolong during current winter season. Continuous flow of western disturbances will help to keep the minimum temperatures in normal range.”

Commenting on the IMD temperature outlook, Director MeT, Sonam Lotus said it is a long range outlook, which will become more specific as and when peak winter days approach.

“It is a general outlook issued for December to February period. We will be also keep updating with more specific forecasts in days to come,” Lotus said.

This year Kashmir received its heaviest November snowfall recorded during the last four decades. As per snowfall records maintained by the Meteorological Department, which is available for last four decades, 96 millimetre equivalent snowfall recorded between November 6-7, 2019, is the heaviest ever 24-hour snowfall recorded in the month of November since 1980.

This has lead to some of the most intense cold days across the Valley so far. As per MeT data, during November 2019 Kashmir saw almost 200 per cent more snow and rain compared to the precipitation witnessed in November 2018.

In November 2018, rain and snowfall in Kashmir was 132 per cent above normal precipitation. However, in November 2019 precipitation has been more than 313 per cent above normal.

While Gulmarg had measured 4.5 feet of snow on November 7, the plains received 1-2 feet of snow.