IMD releases snow, rain, and fog alerts for 6 days

After an unusually dry winter, the northern hill states and the plains of north India are expected to receive much-needed rainfall and snowfall. The northern hill states are anticipating their first significant snowfall of the season, bringing relief to the plains of north India, which have been grappling with an unusually dry winter. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued orange alerts for snow and rain across J&K, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, and Delhi. The alerts are effective on Wednesday and Thursday, with Uttarakhand’s alert being downgraded to yellow for Thursday.

IMD Chief Mrutyunjay Mohapatra highlighted the significance of this upcoming weather pattern, stating, “This will be the first spell of rain in north India this year.” He emphasized that the winter season had witnessed only one brief episode of rain in December, which did not impact the hills. The current western disturbances are expected to bring the first major and widespread snowfall to the Himalayan region, significantly influencing the winter landscape.

The anticipated snowfall holds crucial importance for the ecology of the hill states, contributing to water sources and glaciers that play a pivotal role in supplying water to both the hills and the plains of north India. The absence of substantial rain and snow this season has led to severe dry conditions, triggering major fires in J&K, Himachal, and Uttarakhand during the peak of winter. In the plains, winter rain is essential for the success of the rabi crop and for maintaining optimal temperatures.

IMD’s forecast suggests that Wednesday and Thursday will witness the peak of this weather activity, with light to moderate and fairly widespread rain and snow expected until February 4. Some weather models even indicate the possibility of rain persisting till February 5.

Despite the positive news, dense fog continues to be a concern for north India. The IMD update warns of dense fog in the morning hours over certain areas in Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, and Delhi on Wednesday, as well as on February 2 and 3. However, a silver lining is anticipated around February 5, with strong northerly winds expected to break the fog spell while simultaneously reducing night temperatures.

As north India braces for this long-awaited precipitation, the impact on local ecology, water supply, and agricultural activities remains at the forefront of everyone’s minds. The upcoming days are crucial, and the communities in these regions eagerly await the positive effects of this much-needed change in weather patterns.

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Harry Byrne

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