Kashmir is experiencing an unusual January heatwave this year, with temperatures breaching the highest mark in two decades. On Saturday, Srinagar recorded a maximum temperature of 14.2°C – over 8 degrees above normal.
The soaring mercury has made the Kashmir valley hotter than metropolitans like Delhi and Chandigarh. This abnormal rise in January temperatures has broken a 20-year record.
The weather department has attributed it to a prolonged dry spell caused by lack of snowfall. Kashmir has seen a 100% deficit in snowfall this January, the meteorological department said.
Popular tourist destinations like Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Sonamarg, which are usually covered in snow this time of the year, now lie barren. The continuing dry weather has lead to disappointment among tourists flocking the valley in winters.
Light snowfall brought some relief to Gurez valley on Friday night. But no major precipitation is expected in the next one week, forecasts predict.
Experts believe the rising temperature is linked to increasing sea surface temperatures due to climate change. The warming seas are leading to fewer western disturbances – the primary reason behind precipitation over Kashmir.
The January heatwave has led to a climate crisis-like situation in the Himalayan valley. The abnormal weather is impacting agriculture, horticulture and the winter tourism industry. Environmentalists have warned that the region’s fragile ecosystem may suffer long-term damage if the warming continues unchecked.
|Kashmir Stares at Water Woes as Snow Deserts the Valley