WDs hit J&K; MeT predicts snow, rain

Labourers warm themselves around a bonfire on a cold morning on the outskirts of Jammu. —Excelsior/Rakesh
Labourers warm themselves around a bonfire on a cold morning on the outskirts of Jammu. —Excelsior/Rakesh

Pesky power cuts across Kashmir in subzero temp

Gopal Sharma
SRINAGAR/ JAMMU, Dec 9: Cold wave gripped entire Jammu region as the Western Disturbances (WDs) hit the State today, while the Meteorological Department forecasted moderate rain across the State and snowfall at higher reaches whereas, the subzero temperatures continued across Kashmir and the pesky power cuts have made life of people miserable.
A MeT department spokesman today said that there will be moderate rain and snow across the State during next 24 hours. “Snowfall in the higher reaches is likely to disrupt connectivity between the Kashmir valley and outside,” a MeT official said.

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The snow and rain will end over a month long dry spell in Kashmir as it has not rained or snowed since November 3. The early snowfall this season has led the advanced winter in Kashmir and subzero temperatures in the month of November.
The spokesman further said that on December 10 and 11, there will be rain across the region and snowfall at the higher reaches. Even on December 12, most of the parts of the region will remain cloudy. However, the weather will show improvement from December 13 onwards. He said the temperature will further fall in next two days.
Dr Mohinder Kumar, Chief Scientist from SKUAST Jammu said that due to western disturbances the weather in most parts of Jammu and Kashmir and adjoining states will remain cloudy. The cold winds will result into sharp fall in temperature. There will be rain in most parts of the state in next 48 hours and snowfall in Kashmir and many hilly areas of Jammu region.
The SKUAST Scientist further said that this rain is very beneficial for the farmers of Kandi belt of Jammu region and adjoining State. He said those farmers who could not sow their wheat, grams and mustard crops will have better opportunity to sow their cops.
Meanwhile, cold wave has gripped Jammu region since this afternoon. The cold waves were blowing in most of the plain areas, resulting into sharp decline in the temperature. The people were seen clad in heavy woolen clothes.
A MeT official said that Jammu recorded a minimum temperature of 7.9 degrees Celsius, Katra 8.0 deg C, Banihal 1.5 deg C, Bhaderwah 0.6 degrees C while day temperatures at these places settled at 21 degree Celsius, 18.4, 16.8 and 14.1deg C, respectively.
Meanwhile, Kashmir region is facing severe power cuts with outages continuing for several hours in majority of the areas.The prolonged power cuts have brought a lot of inconveniences to the people in the cold weather conditions.
“We face power cuts at least 15 times in a day. We don’t know when the electricity comes and goes off,” said, Jehangir Ahmad, a resident of Rajbagh. “We live in metered areas and the Government was bound to provide round the clock electricity. Besides we can’t even use heating gadgets as the power trips off when we use these gadgets. If we are paying for power, it is Government’s duty to provide us the electricity”, he said.
“For the last one week, the power scenario is deteriorating with each passing day. There is no power schedule being maintained,” said Reyaz Ahmad from Hyderpora. “We face power cuts mostly during morning and evening hours. We face over 10 hours power cut,” he said.
An official said that Kashmir is short of around 700 MWs of electricity. “We have 1300 MWs power available that is being provided to people against the requirement of 2000 MWs,” he added.
The minimum temperatures across Kashmir continued below freezing. Leh, Srinagar, Pahalgam and Gulmarg today were minus 5.5 degrees Celsius, minus 0.4, minus 3 and minus 6.3, respectively while the day temperatures at these places was recorded at 6.8 degrees Celsius, 9.6, 8.0 and 4.3, respectively, a MeT spokesman said.