Srinagar: Since southwest monsoon's withdrawal on October 8, 2021, the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir saw 22 Western Disturbances till mid-January. Western Disturbance is a phenomenon that brings a change in weather conditions. Five of the Western Disturbances were seen in October while four in November, eight in December and five till 15 January.
As per data obtained from independent weather forecasters, though December saw the highest number of Western Disturbances, most of them were feeble.
Jammu and Kashmir, which received a good amount of rain and snow in the first week of January, received five Western Disturbances till January 15, while at least 3 more WDs are likely till the end of the fourth week of this month.
Among all Western Disturbances, the strongest ones were witnessed on October 22-23, 2021, with its main activity over the Kashmir region, and January 3-5, 2022, with its main activity over the Jammu region.
The Western Disturbance in October was quite impactful that it brought unseasonal snowfall in many parts of Kashmir, especially south Kashmir which led to economic losses particularly to horticulture and agriculture sectors.
Western Disturbance in January caused heavy to very heavy snowfall over higher reaches of both Kashmir and Jammu. It also caused heavy snowfall over some plains of Jammu and Kashmir. Most of the Western Disturbances that have passed through Jammu and Kashmir this season have been very weak leading to deficit rainfall and snowfall.
Last winter, Jammu and Kashmir witnessed twenty-two Western Disturbances (WDs) between Dec 2020 and Jan 2021, most (eight) being in January, while 7 WDs in December and February each.
The Spring season of 2021 saw twenty-three WDs, 08 in March and April each, 07 in May.
The summer season recorded just 19 Western Disturbances, the lowest being in July with 05 WDs, 07 each in June and August.
The lowest number of Western Disturbances in the year 2021 were witnessed in the month of September with mere 4 Western Disturbances.
Despite so many Western Disturbances in the previous year, Jammu and Kashmir have recorded below normal rainfall. Rainfall was deficient in most of the months of the year 2021. Overall, winter 2020-2021 ended on a below normal note with 37 per cent deficient rainfall. So far this winter, the Union Territory has been receiving a good amount of precipitation. As per the Meteorological data, there was an 8 per cent recent deficit in the month of December, on the other hand, 162 per cent surplus rainfall in the month of January so far.