Shimla, March 1
Month of February this winter season witnessed record 71per cent less rain and Snow as India Meteorological Department stated that it indicates severe drought like situation in Himachal Pradesh.
In a Weather data released so far, the cumulative precipitation was 37 pet cent less than normal rain and snowfall in this winter season. Generally, in the winter season, the state receives more rain and snowfall than normal. Last year in 2022 the State got 92 percent more rain-snow than normal. However this time all 12 districts have received less cloud cover than normal. Tourist favourite Manali and Shimla had no major spells of snow, which also dismayed the footfall of visitors.
The IMD and state disaster Management authority spokesperson have already warned of severe drought like situation developing in Himachal Pradesh. Sudden rise of Mercury and dearth of rain and snow has increased the worries of farmers and Apple growers as most of the arable cultivated lands fall in non-irrigated or rainfed category. Therefore lack of rain and dry spell seems cast its inevitable doom on the production of State’s agriculture, horticulture produce and footfall of tourism.
This year, February remained drier than January. The normal precipitation for two months from January 1 to February 28, is 187.1 mm, but this time only 117 mm of rain was recorded. Known for off seasonal vegetable production, Solan district continues reeling in the worst drought condition. Solan received 68 percent less rainfall than normal. Due to this, the crops of the farmers and gardeners suffered a lot and may only get worst in the coming days.
Early flowering in the pea and wilting Rabi crops would have cascading effect not only on the crops of the farmers but it would affect animal husbandry and milk production as drought may cause dearth of fodder and coarse grains.
However on the pleasant side, the recent ongoing wet spell brought down maximum temperature of Shimla by about 4.9 degrees on Wednesday that of 12.6 degrees a week ago, Bhuntar 8 degrees, Kalpa minus 0.4 degrees, Dharamshala 5.2 degrees, Keylong minus 3.4 degrees, Manali 4 degrees, Kufri 1.4 degrees.
Ongoing western disturbance also plummet the Mercury but baring isolated places it was mainly dry to partly cloudy in the state. In Shimla district Khadarala had 4 cm snow, Kufri also got snowflakes. Gondla in Lahaul & Spiti had six cm snow and Keylong four cm.
Chopal of Shimla had 8.4 mm rain, Narkanda: 8 mm, Shillaroo:6.5 mm, Manali 7 mm, Seobagh 6.8 mm and Shimla four and Jubbarhatti 2.8 mm.
Met office forecasts wide spread rain and snow in mid and high reaches and heavy rain or snowfall in isolated places along with thunderstorms and lightening in the next 24 hrs of the state.