92-day long dry spell in Jammu may end between Jan 4-6

Cracks developed in a dry field on the outskirts of Jammu due to no rainfall for last 92 days.
Cracks developed in a dry field on the outskirts of Jammu due to no rainfall for last 92 days.

*Dry weather affects agriculture in rain-fed areas
Govind Sharma
JAMMU, Dec 29: The 92-day long dry spell in Jammu province, which has mostly affected the agriculture activities in rain-fed areas may end in the first week of January with weatherman predicting light to moderate rainfall in most of the areas of Jammu region and moderate rainfall in Srinagar.
The Weatherman said that whole State of J&K is reeling under the longest dry spell. Though some parts of Srinagar received little rainfall in the month of October and November, and snowfall in December but during this period, areas of Jammu province remained completely dry, which has badly affected farmers of rain-fed areas who have become late about 2-3 months in sowing Rabi crops.
“This is not the first time that Jammu is reeling under long dry spell in the months of October, November and December. Like this year, in 1993 and 2005 too, Jammu province received 0 mm rainfall in these three months when the average rainfall in these months should be 62 mm”, Senior Scientist of Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences & Technology, Dr Mohinder Singh said.
Dr Singh said that prevailing dry weather conditions in the State, particularly in Jammu province, is due to feeble Western Disturbances. He said Jammu had received last rainfall on September 27 and since past 92 days the weather in Jammu is completely dry. “Though some areas of Jammu had received 1.2 mm rainfall on October 5-6 but rainfall below 2.5 mm is considered as no rainfall”, he added.
“The weather will remain dry for next 5-6 days. However, there is hope for this dry weather to end in first week of January”, Dr Singh said, adding, they are expecting light to moderate rainfall with thunderstorm in most of the areas of Jammu and snowfall in higher reaches between January 4-6.
When contacted, Director, J&K Meteorological Department, Sonam Lotus, also said that prevailing dry weather conditions may end in first week of January. “We are expecting light to moderate thunder showers between January 4-6, which shall cover most of the areas of Jammu province, thus ending 92-day long dry spell.
Meanwhile, Dr Mohinder while speaking on the adverse affect of agriculture in Jammu region said, though dry spell has not casted any adverse affect on agriculture in areas having assured irrigation land but rain-fed (Kandi) areas of Jammu, Kathua and Samba districts have suffered badly due to dry weather, as the Rabi crops like wheat, mustard and gram which are sown in the month of October and first week of November could not be sown in these areas due to absence of moisture in the soil.
“But there is no need to worry for the farmers of these rain-fed areas as they can sow late variety seeds of wheat like RAJ 3077, HD 2285, RAJ 3765 and HD 2402 till January. But as the late variety seeds do not give much yield, farmers have to sow 150 kg seeds per hectare instead of usual practice of 100 kg per hectare to get adequate yield from the crop”, Dr Singh suggested.
Meanwhile, Weatherman said that today Banihal remained coldest in the Jammu region with minimum temperature recorded at 3.0 and maximum 21.0. Jammu recorded maximum of 21.0 and minimum of 8.4, Katra maximum 20.0 and minimum 10.1 while Bhaderwah recorded a maximum of 18.3 and minimum 3.6.
Our Srinagar Correspondent adds:  Although the temperatures improved today in Kashmir due to a night-long partial cloud cover and sunny day, the Weatherman has forecast dry spell to continue.
Against yesterday’s minus 4.1, Srinagar recorded minus 3.0 as the night’s lowest temperature. Similarly, against Wednesday’s minus 4.2, the lowest night temperature in Pahalgam was minus 2.3 while Gulmarg recorded minus 0.2.
Qazigund, Kokernag in South Kashmir and Kupwara in North Kashmir recorded minus 2 degree Celsius as lowest temperature.
The night temperature also improved in Leh town where minimum was recorded at minus 7.9 degree Celsius against Wednesday’s minus 12.9 degree Celsius.
The day temperatures across Kashmir increased today with Srinagar recording maximum day temperature of 12 degree Celsius against yesterday’s 10.7  degree Celsius.
Qazigund  recorded 13.7 degree Celsius, Pahalgam 13.5 degree Celsius, Kokernag 12 degree Celsius, Kupwara 13 degree Celsius, Gulmarg 9 degree Celsius and Leh 9.3 degree Celsius as maximum day temperature.