Jammu and Kashmir witnesses lowest Spring rainfall in at least 18 years
In first five months, J&K remained 38% rain deficient Annual rainfall in 2021 was lowest since 2009
Below normal rainfall in Winter and Spring, in past few years, behind the low water level of Jhelum, springs
Faizan Arif (Kashmir Weather)
The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir recorded rain deficiency of 32% in the first five months of 2022. Against a normal rainfall of 559.2mm, Jammu and Kashmir received only 345.4mm of rainfall between January 01 and May 31.
This alone hasn’t contributed to the lower water levels of springs along with Jhelum. Earlier in March and April, Jammu and Kashmir witnessed multiple incidents of severe heatwave. In an earlier report, published in April, Srinagar witnessed its warmest March in at least 131 years. The same was the condition in other parts of the Valley. The month of April too witnessed above-normal temperatures and incidents of severe heatwave. This resulted in the rapid melting of glaciers. Jhelum at Ram Munshi Bagh touched 9.86 feet on 17 March, which was just 6 feet below the ‘flood alarm’ level. In April, Jhelum, nallahs and springs witnessed a considerable decrease in water levels. By May end, some small nallahs had dried up completely. Jhelum too reached its all-time lowest figure for this time of the season. Such low water levels used to reach only in Autumn season. With Autumn yet 3 months away, conditions may get worse.
Jammu and Kashmir in 2021 recorded only 894.5mm of rainfall against an average of 1258.7mm. The deficiency of 29% in a whole year is huge. This is also the lowest rainfall in the Union Territory since 2009.
The year 2020 also recorded deficit of 22%. The year recorded 979.1mm of rainfall against an average figure of 1258.7mm
In between January and May – the months in which higher reaches record heavy snowfall – 34% deficiency was witnessed in 2020 and 11.5% in 2021.
At 1.89 feet, Jhelum at Ram Munshi Bagh observed the all-time lowest water level on 08 September 2021.
Jammu and Kashmir may witness good rainfall in the next 7 days. However, it remains crucial to monitor the changes in the coming months. Only good rainfall in the summer and autumn seasons can help the conditions from getting worse.