Heatwave scorches J&K; Jammu sizzles at 42.9°C, Srinagar 32.8°C

‘UT records lowest spring rainfall in atleast 18 years’
People cool themselves in a canal on a sunny day in Jammu.
People cool themselves in a canal on a sunny day in Jammu.Mir Imran for Greater Kashmir

Srinagar: The heat wave conditions remained unabated in parts of Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday, even as the summer capital recorded its hottest day of the season at 32.8 degrees Celsius. The maximum temperature in Srinagar was 4.8 notches above the normal.

Qazigund in south Kashmir recorded a maximum temperature of 32.6 degrees Celsius, which was 6.1 degrees above the normal.

Kupwara remained the hottest place in the Valley recording a maximum of 33.3 degrees Celsius.

Tourist resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir was the coldest with a high of 23.0 degrees Celsius. Kokernag and Pahalgam recorded high temperatures of 31.7°C and 26.8°C respectively.

Meanwhile Jammu City, the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir, recorded a maximum temperature of 42.9 degrees Celsius.

The maximum temperature in the city was 3.9 degrees above the normal for this time of the year.

Katra town experienced similar conditions, recording a high temperature of 39.6 degrees Celsius.

Bhaderwah, Batote and Banihal recorded maximum temperatures of 34.9 degrees Celsius, 31.8 degrees Celsius and 34.2 degrees Celsius respectively.

Absence of any significant weather system has led to a sharp increase in maximum temperatures during the last three days.

India Meteorological Department has predicted showers in the Union Territory from Thursday onwards for the next 3 days.

Meanwhile, Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir recorded rain deficiency of 32 per cent in the first five months of 2022. Against a normal rainfall of 559.2 mm, Jammu and Kashmir received only 345.4 mm of rainfall between January 1 and May 31, said a report by independent weather forecaster Faizan Arif.

"This alone hasn't contributed to the lower water levels of springs along with Jhelum. Earlier in March and April, Jammu and Kashmir witnessed multiple incidents of severe heatwave, " says the report.

"In an earlier report, published in April, Srinagar witnessed its warmest March in at least 131 years. The same was the condition in other parts of the Valley. The month of April too witnessed above-normal temperatures and incidents of severe heatwave. This resulted in the rapid melting of glaciers. Jhelum at Ram Munshi Bagh touched 9.86 feet on 17 March, which was just 6 feet below the 'flood alarm' level"

"In April, Jhelum, nallahs and springs witnessed a considerable decrease in water levels. By May end, some small nallahs had dried up completely. Jhelum too reached its all-time lowest figure for this time of the season. Such low water levels used to reach only in Autumn season. With Autumn yet 3 months away, conditions may get worse,"the report says.

"Jammu and Kashmir in 2021 recorded only 894.5mm of rainfall against an average of 1258.7mm. The deficiency of 29% in a whole year is huge. This is also the lowest rainfall in the Union Territory since 2009."

"The year 2020 also recorded deficit of 22%. The year recorded 979.1mm of rainfall against an average figure of 1258.7mm. In between January and May - the months in which higher reaches record heavy snowfall - 34% deficiency was witnessed in 2020 and 11.5% in 2021. At 1.89 feet, Jhelum at Ram Munshi Bagh observed the all-time lowest water level on 08 September 2021."

"Jammu and Kashmir may witness good rainfall in the next 7 days. However, it remains crucial to monitor the changes in the coming months. Only good rainfall in the summer and autumn seasons can help the conditions from getting worse," adds the report.

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