Prolonged dry spell a shift in precipitation regime: Experts
‘Human interference is there, but natural magnitude is very high’; Dry spell this year can’t be attributed to El Niño effect, says Independent Weather Forecaster; MeT says no forecast of any significant weather activity till Jan 10, say
Srinagar, Jan 04 (KNO): Prolonged dry spell in the Kashmir Valley has been termed as the shift of precipitation regime by the experts here, who believe that the pattern of human control in this change and shift is less.
Pertinently, the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) has already reported that December 2023 unfolded as the most arid month of the year for the union territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, recording a deficit of 79% and 100%, respectively.
Meanwhile, Dr Muhammad Muslim, Assistant Professor at Kashmir University’s Environmental Sciences department, told KNO that there are clear indications that the climate is changing. “If we see the past data, there are clear indications of climate change. So, as far as the precipitation regime is concerned, it is evident that we are not only having a decrease in the precipitation, but there is also a shift in the precipitation regime as well,” he said.
“If we talk about winter precipitation, we are witnessing a clear shift in it. The precipitation is decreasing across India and in Kashmir as well, but the trend is not that significant here,” Dr Muslim said, adding that “we will have the precipitation, but it will be towards spring, whatever is left.”
“Our climate is changing, which is also the outcome of behaviour in the system,” he said, adding that unfortunately, it has not been studied properly to ascertain what has impacted the most. “A little work has been done so far over drivers to see what has impacted the most,” he said.
Dr Sami-ullah Bhat, Senior Assistant Professor at Kashmir University’s Environmental Sciences department told KNO that the pattern of precipitation is actually driven by the directions of winds, clouds, how and when it will strike the mountains and burst.
However, he said that the human control in this regard is very less; there are some things that are not in the control of humans. “I believe the human interference is there, but the natural magnitude is much higher than the human interference,” he said.
Meanwhile, an Independent Weather Forecaster, Faizan Arif Keng also issued a statement in this regard and stated that this year’s dry spell this year can’t be attributed to the El Niño effect. “Last year, it was La Niña, opposite the phase of El Niño, and conditions remained the same in December,” he said.
“In December 2022, Jammu and Kashmir faced a deficit of 74%, and in December 2023, the deficit was 79%. So, thorough and proper research is needed. There may be a thousand more factors influencing the weather here. It can be something related to the Mediterranean Sea or Atlantic Ocean or Europe weather or maybe something else,” he added.
“In December 2022, the value of NAO was -0.15, and this year, since the first week of December, the value of NAO has been on the positive side, but what we are seeing here is below average precipitation. So, actually there are no single factors that can determine the climate here, and with the changing climate, it is going to get extremely difficult to find any stable trends and forecast seasonal weather,” he said.
Moreover, with no let up in the shivering cold across the Valley, a thin layer of ice has formed over world famous Dal Lake here as the mercury continued to settle below freezing point across Kashmir.
According to the data, Pahalgam in South Kashmir was the coldest at minus 5.1 degree Celsius followed by Gulmarg, a famous ski-resort in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district at minus 4.2 degree Celsius.
Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu & Kashmir shivered at minus 3.8 degree Celsius while Qazigund in South Kashmir has recorded a low of minus 3.4 degree Celsius.
Pertinently, the weatherman here has predicted generally cloudy with dry weather over plains with possibility of very light snow over isolated extreme higher reaches in the next 24 hours.
Furthermore, Director Meteorological department, Dr Mukhtar Ahmad said that mainly dry weather is expected from January 06 till 7th evening, adding that on 8th January, generally cloudy weather is expected over plains with possibility of light snow over isolated higher reaches. On January 9-10, the weather conditions would remain generally dry—(KNO)