Srinagar- The Kashmir Valley has been witnessing erratic weather conditions this year as an extended period of cold is currently being followed by a sudden rise in temperature, causing discomfort to tourists and residents alike.
The weatherman has attributed the rising temperatures to a prolonged dry spell in the valley. “We have witnessed dry spells which have resulted in rise in temperatures. In the month of July, temperature is likely to remain around 30 to 31 degrees Celsius in the valley and 35 degrees Celsius in Jammu. It is summer here and the weather is not unusual,” Director Meteorological Department Sonam Lotus told PTI. He said while the temperature is very high, there are no heatwave conditions. “There is a possibility of light showers on July 4 and 5. And morning showers are anticipated between July 6 to 8. But there is no forecast of heavy rainfall yet. In Ladakh, the temperature will mostly remain dry but light showers can be expected at some places. Temperatures will fluctuate but the high temperature will not persist,” Lotus said. This year the highest temperature was recorded at 35 degrees Celsius in June, he added. Lotus said as the temperature is quite high, there is a possibility of localised flash floods in some parts of Jammu and Kashmir in case of heavy rainfall. He, however, ruled out the possibility of major floods in view of the raised groundwater table in the valley caused by unseasonal rains in the month of May.
“The temperature has gone very high and evaporation has intensified due to hot temperature. The monsoon is likely to get active between July 5 to 7 and will help improve water stress,” he added. While the maximum temperature at most places in Kashmir is in the mid-30s, the effect of high altitude makes it feel a few degrees higher than actually is. Sunil Kumar, a tourist from Uttar Pradesh, said, “The weather in the valley is very hot. We have come here on summer vacation from Uttar Pradesh as we anticipated the weather to be pleasant. Yesterday I went to Gulmarg as well but the temperature there, too, was very high.” A local named Firdous Ilahye said the temperature in the valley has breached the 35 degrees Celsius mark for the first time.
“In Kashmir temperature usually remains moderate and precipitation happens immediately after 34 degree Celsius. Experts say that this is due to the effects of global warming, the melting of glaciers which leads to a rise in water levels in the water bodies as well,” he said.
A South African national, studying at a local university, said, “Normally people here are not very comfortable with this kind of weather in Kashmir. People prefer to stay at a cool place where there are lots of trees and under the shade when they are on the roads. The temperature in parks with trees is a lot better.” “I have been living in Kashmir since 2021 and I feel the temperature is quite hot and is increasing day by day,” he said, adding that people were facing many difficulties as they are not used to such kind of weather.
Zehra, a city resident, said this has been one of the hottest summers she has witnessed. “Roads are deserted and people prefer to stay at home. Schools, too, have been shut for summer vacations. It is very difficult to travel these days as well,” she added. Schools in the valley were closed from July 1 to 10 due to prevailing hot weather.
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