Timely Snowfall

The Meteorological department had forecast light rains and snowfall from February 22 and 23 across Kashmir Valley and that too mainly over upper reaches. However, as it turned out to be, it snowed heavily in plains, mainly in central and south Kashmir besides upper reaches including Gulmarg.  Even though it was unexpected and brought difficulties, snowfall during winter is always welcome.

More snowfall, the better it is for plant growth. Plants in the alpine meadows including medicinal plants grow better and their biomass production is higher.

It is not the case that Kashmir received deficit rainfall but snowfall had eluded especially Srinagar hitherto.

Between January 1 to February 21, 2022, J&K received normal rainfall. Against a normal rainfall of 186.5mm, J&K witnessed 185.2mm of rainfall which is just 1 per cent below the average.

As per India Meteorological Department criteria, minus 19 percent to plus 19 percent is considered as normal rainfall for a region.

Out of 20 districts, four districts received deficient rainfall (-59% to -20%), 02 large deficient rainfall (-99% to -60%), 06 normal rainfall (-19% to 19%), 03 excess rainfall (20% to 59%) and 05 large excess rainfall (60% plus)

Srinagar and Ganderbal received 120.7mm and 155.0mm of rainfall respectively. For Srinagar, it was 16 per cent below the average while Ganderbal recorded 29 per cent of excess rainfall. The late February spell of snowfall has changed the statistics. It might also have brought hardships to people but it’s always good  given the future benefits. The farmers need to clear water channels and drains to ensure complete drainage from the orchards and nurseries, shake trees to remove snow immediately from their branches after snowfall; provide support to trees or limbs which are not strong enough to stand; stake newly planted trees, if fruit trees tilt, reduce the canopy load by pruning; If the trees get partially uprooted, slowly pull back the trees to the original position and take other measures. The administration should also ensure that roads are cleared within reasonable dispatch by pressing men and machinery. Most of the lanes and by-lanes are still snow-clogged and as such extra-effort should be put in to ensure that commuting is made hassle-free. Power department officials have put in great effort to restore the electricity at grid level and now field staff locally must ensure that damaged electric poles and wires need to be replaced or repaired to restore the essential service. Other  departments must do their bit to ensure availability of the services under their working domain.

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