Northwest India Embraces Welcomed Change: A Wet Turn in February
The onset of 2024 brought an unusual dry spell to Northwest India, recording a mere 3.1 mm of precipitation in January—marking the second lowest since 1901. However, February has ushered in a transformative shift, promising a wet and snowy landscape that is expected to linger over the approaching weekend.
The dry January was attributed to the conspicuous absence of western disturbances, low-pressure systems originating over the Mediterranean Sea. These disturbances, crucial for bringing moisture to North India, were notably missing during the initial month of the year.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) now reports the presence of a western disturbance triggering the ongoing rain and snow activity over the region. Additionally, another disturbance is set to join in on Saturday (Feb 3), intensifying the precipitation spectacle.
The IMD anticipates widespread but light to moderate rainfall and snowfall across Jammu-Kashmir, Ladakh, Gilgit, Baltistan, Muzaffarabad, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand from February 3 to 5. The impact is expected to extend to the northwestern plains, with isolated light showers forecast in Punjab, Chandigarh, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and even Madhya Pradesh during this period.
Accompanying the precipitation is the forecast of foggy weather, with dense to very dense morning fog enveloping parts of several states. Notably, there are no cold day or cold wave warnings issued for the next five days.
The IMD has issued a yellow watch for the entire region during this forecast period, urging residents to be aware of local weather conditions and plan accordingly. This wet spell comes as a boon for Rabi crop cultivation and overall water management in this crucial agricultural region. February is anticipated to see above-average precipitation levels, with the IMD projecting a 122% increase compared to the region’s Long Period Average (LPA) of 65 mm for this month. As the weather takes a turn, Northwest India welcomes a refreshing and beneficial shift in its climatic narrative.