Jammu & Kashmir

No snow but cold in Kashmir: Tourist discontent and agricultural concerns

Commuters walk amid fog in Srinagar, Kashmir. [FPK Photo/ Umar Farooq]

Srinagar: Kashmir continued to remain in cold storage as rain/snow remained elusive in plains of the Valley.

The Meteorological (MeT) office has not given any hope of rain/snow in the plains in the coming days although some precipitation could occur in higher reaches.

Unless it snows sufficiently during the ‘Chillai Kalan’ perennial water reservoirs in the mountains do not get replenished to sustain water in Kashmir’s lakes, streams, rivers and springs during the summer months.

Snowfall in Kashmir is typically a significant draw for tourists due to the region’s picturesque landscapes.

However, despite the attraction, it seems that tourists expressed dissatisfaction. It’s important to note that while snowfall can enhance the scenic beauty, excessive snow or related issues might impact travel experiences.

Additionally, snow is crucial for Kashmir in various aspects, including agriculture, as it contributes to the region’s water resources.

The snowfall in the valley plays a vital role in agriculture, particularly in providing water for irrigation during the dry months. The snow that accumulates in the winter acts as a natural reservoir, gradually melting in spring and early summer, ensuring a steady supply of water for crops.

This process is essential for the cultivation of various crops, including apples, saffron, and other fruits and vegetables that contribute significantly to the region’s economy.

Farmers in Kashmir rely on the timing and quantity of snowfall to meet the water needs of their crops.

A lack of sufficient snowfall can lead to water shortages during crucial growing periods, potentially impacting crop yields. On the other hand, excessive snowfall can pose challenges, such as delayed access to fields and the risk of snow-related damage to crops.

The role of snow in Kashmir extends beyond its aesthetic appeal to tourists; it plays a critical role in sustaining the agricultural livelihoods of the region.

On Monday, Srinagar recorded a low of minus 4.3°C as freezing conditions continued without reprieve in Kashmir Valley.

A meteorological department official said that the temperature was 1.9°C below normal Srinagar for this time of the year. He said the Srinagar saw minimum temperature of minus 5.6°C on previous night.

Qazigund recorded a minimum of minus 4.2°C against minus 5.0°C on the previous night, he said. The minimum temperature was 1.1°C below normal for the gateway town of Kashmir, the MeT official said.

Pahalgam recorded a low of minus 5.3°C against minus 6.5°C on the previous night and it was 1.7°C above normal for the famous resort in south Kashmir.

Kokernag, also in south Kashmir, recorded a minimum of minus 2.1°C against minus 2.7°C on the previous night and the temperature was above normal by 1.9°C for the place, the official said.

Kupwara town in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 5.0°C against minus 5.3°C on the previous night and it was 2.3°C below normal there, the official said.

Gulmarg, the official said, recorded a low of minus 4.0°C against minus 4.4°C on the previous night and the temperature was 3.8°C above normal for the world famous skiing resort in north Kashmir.

Jammu, he said, recorded a minimum of 4.3°C against 3.4°C on previous night, and it was below normal by 3.1°C for Jammu. Banihal recorded a low of minus 1.2°C, Batote 3.2°C and Bhaderwah 0.4°C, he said.

The MeT official said that generally cloudy weather is expected with possibility of light rain/snow over “extreme isolated higher reaches” on January 9. From January 10-14, he said, generally dry weather is expected.

“Overall no significant weather activity is expected till January 14,” he said.

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