Monsoon reaches Jammu 15 days in advance

Avtar Bhat

Monsoon clouds hover over Jammu City on Sunday.—Excelsior/Rakesh

JAMMU, June 16: Like other parts of the country the first Monsoon showers lashed Jammu region yesterday. Terming it a good omen for the farmers especially in the drought hit areas of the region as the agriculture scientists are optimistic that it will boost the Rabi crop across the State. They also put all the speculations to rest that yesterday’s rain was pre Monsoon showers.
According to Metrological Department the first Monsoon showers lashed Jammu region yesterday as this time the Monsoon was 15 days advance in the State. The experts in the Department said that the main reason for advancing Monsoon in the Northern India is that this time the Monsoon current and Western winds were at lower level and very strong throughout the period which rapidly advanced from Kerala coast to other parts of North India without any break.
The experts said that the Monsoon had touched the Kerala coast on June 1. The Indian Metrological Department Pune, Maharashtra had already declared that Monsoon rains have reached the entire country by June 15 and yesterday’s rains were the first Monsoon showers all across the country.
According to Dr M K Khushoo, Chief Scientist at SKUAST Jammu, the Monsoon has entered the J&K by June 15 and the yesterday’s rain were the first Monsoon showers in Jammu region. This time conditions were favorable for advancement of Monsoon in the country, he added while terming it as good news for farmers of the region.
He said the Monsoon was normal when it entered Kerala on June 1 but later its activity became more vigorous due to abundant moisture laden winds and conditions became favorable for advancement of South West Monsoon winds that resulted in early set of Monsoon in the region.
Dr Khushoo said there are expectations of normal rains during the period because La nina effect in equatorial pacific ocean. However, there are apprehensions of break of Monsoon for a limited period due to its early arrival but the same depends upon the climatic situation, he added.
Maintaining that the early set of Monsoon has been a good omen for farmers he advised them to go for the sowing of Maize crop and land preparation for rice transplantation. Besides it can also be good for growing of vegetables, he added.
He said 62 mm rain was recorded in Jammu yesterday while today it was zero. In Samba district it was 50 mm yesterday while it was one mm today. The rain fall recorded at Ramban was 29 mm yesterday and 3 mm today while at Kathua it was 7 mm yesterday and 5 mm today. However there was zero per cent rainfall in Udhampur, indicating that the Monsoon has entered the Jammu region but partly covered it.
He however said that there is apprehension that there may be break in Monsoon for a limited period because of its earlier start.
Agencies adds from Delhi and Srinagar that riding on strong easterlies, Monsoon made a grand entry today in the national capital even as seasonal rains covered the entire country one month in advance.
South-West Monsoon, which kept its June 1 date with Kerala, made rapid progress across the country bringing bountiful showers all along and giving relief to most drought- hit regions.
The Monsoon onset in Delhi today was also a fortnight in advance as the normal date for seasonal rains in the capital in June 29.
Releasing an update on the monsoon forecast, the weather office had said the country would receive normal and fairly distributed rain in July and August.
Rainfall is expected to be at 101 per cent of long-term average in July and 96 per cent in August.
For the country as a whole, Monsoon has been 43 per cent excess till June 15 since onset over Kerala on June 1.
The strong start to the Monsoon boosts prospects of robust farm output which could help the economy and hold down inflation, a critical concern for the UPA as it readies for Assembly elections later this year and 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Meanwhile, the upper reaches in the Kashmir valley experienced fresh snowfall and plains had rains resulting in considerable drop in the maximum and minimum temperature in the Kashmir valley, where icy cold winds forced people to wear warm clothes again.
A Met Department spokesman said here today that there could be rain or thundershowers at some places in Jammu and Kashmir and isolated places in Ladakh region during the next 24 hours.
About three inches of fresh snowfall was recorded at Afarwat, the highest skiing point, connecting by Gandola Cable Car, in Gulmarg sector, a hotel owner told over phone.
He said the sky was covered under dark clouds since this morning and there was 11.2 mm rainfall in Gulmarg till 0830 hrs.
Khilanmarg and other heights in the sector also received fresh snowfall, he said adding that a large number of tourists and locals, were seen wearing warm and woolen clothes, provided on rent by local shopkeepers.
The upper reaches in north Kashmir, including the areas near the Line of Control (LoC) also received fresh snowfall.
Because of fresh snowfall on upper reaches, the maximum and minimum temperature dropped due to icy cold winds.
Met spokesman said the minimum temperature at Gulmarg was 4 degree, five notches below normal.
Pahalgam, base camp of Holy Amarnath cave shrine, where the annual
Yatra will commence from June 28, recorded 7.5 mm rainfall till 0830 this morning, resulting in drop in the minimum temperature which was recorded at 7.2 degrees, a notch below normal.
A report said that Holy Amarnath cave shrine and its periphery also received moderate snowfall while Sheshnag, Managuns, Pisso top, Panjterni on traditional yatra route also received fresh snowfall.
Met spokesman said because of icy cold winds and 6.5 mm rains, the maximum
And minimum temperature in summer capital, Srinagar, remained blow normal.
The maximum in Srinagar was 21.9 degree, six degrees below normal, he said adding the minimum was recorded 11.9 degree, again three notches below normal.
Qazigund, gateway of Kashmir on Srinagar-Jammu highway and witnessed three degree below normal minimum temperature while Kokernag also in south Kashmir the minimum temperature was recorded 9.7 degrees, more than three notches below normal.
He said Leh recorded 10.2 mm rainfall till 0830 hrs this morning, resulting in drop in the minimum temperature which was recorded 4.6 degrees.
However, temperature of border town of Kargil on Srinagar-Leh highway was not available.