A different winter (“WANDEH”) this year!

Nature knows its course best. Every season has its own importance and utility. No season is less important than others. One season opens the smooth passage for the other to flourish. Winter is the fourth season of the four well known seasons of Kashmir .It follows autumn and lasts from December to March. It is generally considered as insignificant and treated as an unwelcome guest. The period between 22 December and 30 January is the chilliest period. This year a quite different winter season was experienced in the valley of Kashmir. Though it did not snow in the months of November and December but as soon as the month of January started, it snowed heavily across the valley of Kashmir. Many houses across the valley of Kashmir collapsed. The snow on the roads and streets freezed and turned into ice blocks. The temperature has gone down . Kashmir valley is experiencing one of the harshest winter seasons this year. The most severe part ‘Chillai Kalan’ 40 days long event ended on 30th January 2021 to pave way for ‘Chillai Khurd’ lasting till 20th February. This will be followed by ‘Chillai Becha’ 10 days long episode literally bidding adieu to the freeze in the valley. Season 2021 has gone on record to be the severe most in the last few decades. Earlier Srinagar recorded a minimum temperature of -8.7°C, the lowest since 1991. The minimum temperature of Srinagar has remained sub-zero for the entire duration of Chillai Kalan so far. Kargil and Nubra Valley dropped to about -20°C during the peak. This season has not seen sufficient snow in the month of January. Precisely there have been 2 spells, the last one being shorter observed on 22nd & 23rd January. The state of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh has recorded 39mm of snowfall against the normal of 65.7mm between 01st January – 24th January. This deficiency will increase further as no significant weather activity is expected during the remaining days of January. The region has been witnessing rather dry and cold conditions both on account of ‘cold day’ and ‘cold wave’ as well. There was no relief in extreme chill during the month of January and the temperatures dropped by -8 to -15 ◦C in some places. The first few days of February are likely to witness a fresh spell of rain and snow which may not be very intense and could possibly last for about 48 hours. But it is likely that people may get relief from extreme chill as the days pass.
Climate Change, a matter of Concern: Climate change is a major challenge facing our planet today. This is an all-encompassing threat that will pose significant environmental, economic, social and political challenges for years and decades to come. It is scientifically least predictable, and its impacts are likely to affect adversely the vulnerable and poor people mostly, who have contributed least to the major causes of Climate Change. The Government, Non-Governmental Organizations, Environmentalists, Conservationists and Donors around the globe are focusing on this issue. The 21st century projected data for the A1B scenario was adjusted by using observed climatic data recorded during the period 1985-2015 for the region. The data from the same period was taken as the baseline for the analysis. This data was thereon analyzed for monthly, seasonal, cropping season and annual periods to enumerate the variation of maximum temperature, minimum temperature and precipitation in Kashmir valley of Jammu & Kashmir state in the 21st century. The modelled data obtained exhibited no significant change in maximum and minimum temperature for the period 2021-2050 but for the same period increase in annual precipitation was exhibited. For the period2051-2100, decreasing trend of annual temperature was exhibited whereas for annual precipitation, an increasing trend was exhibited. The state of Jammu and Kashmir has also been presumed to suffer the consequences of global climate change. The state is expected to have a surge in the number of rainy days by 2030. Similarly, annual temperature is likely to increase in the next century compared to the base period of 1970. An increasing trend in annual maximum and minimum temperature as well as precipitation has also been predicted for the region under SRES A2 Scenario. The climate of Kashmir Valley has witnessed a different change in climate and climatologically variables as compared to the other parts of India. During last few decades the maximum and minimum temperatures of the region have shown significant increasing or decreasing trends. The amount of rainfall has however shown an increase in quantity during this period. During winters the unprecedented precipitations are witnessed as well. The results obtained from the present study are therefore in agreement with the current conditions prevailing in the valley.
(The author a teacher by professional is presently working at Govt High School Brakpora Anantnag. Views are his own)


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