J&K reeling under longest dry spell after 2007; prevailing condition to continue

Ajay Raina

JAMMU, Dec 4: Jammu and Kashmir is reeling under the longest dry spell after 2007 and the prevailing weather conditions will continue for more weeks. Due to this, the farmers particularly in Kandi belts are unable to start sowing for the crops and vegetables and people are facing health related problems.
“Strong western disturbances still elude the State which has resulted in non-formation of low wind pressure”, Sonam Lotus, Director Indian Meteorology Department, said while disclosing that Jammu and Kashmir is witnessing the prolonged dry spell after 2007.
Earlier, the State witnessed such a prolonged dry spell in 2002, 2005 and 2007, he informed, adding satellite imageries don’t indicate any immediate sign of rainfall in near future as such prevailing dry spell is going to stay in Jammu and Kashmir.
According to Director IMD, there was 28.6 mm rainfall in the month of September this year, which was 115 mm last year in the same month. In October 2016, 3.6 mm rainfall was recorded against 63.2 mm in corresponding month of previous year. As far as month of November is concerned, he said that this year November remained completely dry against 12.9 mm rainfall recorded in the month of November last year.
In response to a question, Sonam Lotus said that the maximum temperature will be around 24-25 degree Celsius while the minimum temperature will be around 8-10 degree Celsius during next week. He confirmed that prevailing dry weather is creating problems for the farmers as in the absence of rainfall they are finding it difficult to sow crops.
Tejinder Singh Wazir, President, J&K Kissan Council while talking to the EXCELSIOR said that dry spell has affected the sowing of crops badly.
“Only 10 per cent wheat has been sown in kandi areas while around 40 per cent in irrigated areas. Moreover, we have entered into late variety seed category, which have not been made available by the concerned authorities”, he said, adding the situation is worst in kandi areas in the absence of adequate water for irrigation purposes.
He further said that farmers are also finding it difficult to feed the milch animals as due to dry spell the fodder is scarcely available particularly in kandi areas. “The farmers will suffer immensely if the prevailing dry spell will continue for more weeks”, he said.
The prevailing dry weather is also creating health related problems with skin disorders, respiratory problems, cough and cold, bronchitis, rhinitis, asthma, pneumonia and viral have been afflicting the people particularly the elderly persons.
Confirming this, Dr Jagmeet Kaur, MD Ayurveda, Consultant Ayurvedic Physician said, “the number of patients suffering from these problems has increased because of continuous dry spell”. “In the absence of adequate moisture in the air dryness in the skin has become a common problem”, she added.
About the precautionary measures, Dr Kaur said that people can keep the dryness at bay by making using of oily products but in the limited quantity to check their adverse impact. She said that people should ensure intake of ginger, honey, cinnamon, cardamom, lemon, black-pepper and tulsi leaves.
Our Srinagar correspondent adds: Weather across Kashmir is likely to remain dry for the next 48 hours and night temperatures are expected to dip further.
A Meteorological department official said: “Due to clear night sky expected during the next 48 hours, minimum temperatures are likely to drop further in the state. Lowest night temperatures in Kashmir valley remained several notches below the freezing point today”.
Srinagar, had a low of minus 2.1 degree Celsius. Gulmarg in North Kashmir dropped to minus 1.2 degree Celsius. Pahalgam in South Kashmir recorded a low of minus 4.3 degree Celsius.
Kupwara in North Kashmir recorded the minimum at minus 3.3 degree Celsius, while in Kokernag town in South it was minus 0.4 degree Celsius. Qazigund recorded the minimum of minus 2 degree Celsius.
Leh being the coldest place recording at minimum of minus 7.8 degree Celsius and Kargil town recorded the minimum at minus 5.5 degree Celsius.
The minimum temperature in Jammu city was at 9.6 degree  Celsius. Katra recorded 11.1 degree Celsius, Batote 8.3 degree  Celsius, Banihal 4.6 degree Celsius and Bhaderwah 3.7 degree  Celsius as the lowest night temperature.
Srinagar recorded maximum day temperature of 13.5  degree Celsius while normal day temperature for this time of the year is 11degree Celsius, Qazigund recorded 15.5 degree Celsius, Pahalgam 14.4 degree Celsius, Kupwara 15 degree Celsius, Kokernag 14.3 degree Celsius, Gulmarg degree Celsius 11, Leh 11.5 degree Celsius and Kargil 6.6 degree Celsius.
The day temperatures in Jammu city was recorded at 23.4 degree Celsius, while it was 21.4 degree Celsius in Katra town, 18.5 degree Celsius in Batote, 21.7  degree Celsius in Banihal and 17.8 degree Celsius in Bhaderwah town.