Harsher winter forecast for J&K, Ladakh this season

A thick envelope of fog in Srinagar. File Photo: Mubashir Khan/ GK

Overnight temperatures remained below the freezing point through the Kashmir Valley as the weather office on Monday forecast below-normal minimum temperatures in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh during this winter season.

In its seasonal outlook, the Meteorological (Met) Department said: “During the winter season (December to February), below-normal minimum temperatures are likely over most subdivisions of north, northwest, central and few subdivisions over east India”.

A Met official said that Srinagar recorded a minimum temperature of minus 1.3 degrees Celsius, Pahalgam minus 2.3 degrees, and Gulmarg minus 3 degrees on Monday. The minimum temperature was minus 4.3 degrees in Leh town and minus 6.5 degrees in Kargil town of Ladakh union territory.

Jammu city recorded 10.3 degrees, Mata Vaishno Devi base camp Katra town 10.7 degrees, Batote 6.7 degrees, Banihal 4.4 degrees, and Bhaderwah 4.5 degrees.

Met officials said that similar weather conditions are likely to continue till December 3, after which another spell of rain and snow is likely to occur in J&K and Ladakh.

Rain and snowfall occurs in J&K and Ladakh due to Western Disturbance (WD), an extra tropical storm originating in the Mediterranean Sea that causes rain and snow in India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh.

The prospects of the Rabi crop in these countries depend mostly on how powerful the WD is during the winter months.