Ziraat Times Weather Monitoring Desk

Srinagar, Jan 18: A rare big weather system that is likely to cover Jammu & Kashmir starting today, Friday, January 18, in all probability, would result in a big snowfall across the state.

Multiple weather data studied by Ziraat Times, as what the earlier forecast issued by us said on January 15, indicates that  a rare convergence of two large weather systems emanating from the Caspian Sea and the Mediterranean Sea would cause big snowfall from January 18 and 23. While most of the mountains, including Pirpanjal range and tourist spots would receive snowfall from Friday evening itself, the plains are likely to receive big precipitation either Saturday evening or Sunday.

Here are the five reasons why this snow could be big:

1. Thick moisture-laden cloud cover: The cloud cover that will engulf J&K is of high density. Latest ultraviolet satellite images and the outlook images for the next five days show moderate to high density clouds to cover J&K. Such clouds are known to result in high precipitation.    

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Ultraviolet satellite imagery indicates the probability of dense cloud cover over J&K.

2. Widespread weather system: This weather system is likely to be large. To the north and west, it covers Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, north east Pakistan, almost entire north India. This system is likely to create perfect conditions for widespread precipitation, mainly snowfall across most parts of Jammu & Kashmir and rains in Jammu plains.

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This advanced Asian subtropical jet path satellite image from Thursday shows the visual extent of the cloud system.

3. Trends in wind directions: The wind direction and speed trends available at this time suggests that two cold fronts from regions north and north-west of J&K would bring in colder air into J&K from the extreme north and north-west. Those cold fronts would neutralise the warmer winds occasionally blowing in from the south into J&K, creating longer durations of snowfall over the next five days.

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This satellite image shows the trend of wind directions for J&K over the coming days. The circle denotes the location of J&K on the map.

4. The Chillai Kalan factor:  Being mid-January and Chillai Kalan conditions, surface temperatures are low, and therefore, the fallen snows would freeze, creations deep freeze conditions in entire Kashmir valley and Ladakh region. Temperatures are also likely to go down in Jammu.

5. What data interpretation says: The available cloud cover, density, wind speed, direction, humidity and temperature data indicates that while the Pirpanjal mountain range and karewas areas along the range from Verinag to Pir ki Gali to Yusmarg and to Kandi Baramulla would receive 2 to 5 feet of snowfall, the eastern parts of Kashmir valley would receive between 1 to 5 feet. Kashmir valley plains are likely to receive 1 to 3 feet of snowfall. Bhaderwah, Kishtwar, parts of Himachal Pradesh and  Uttarakhand would receive snowfall between 2 to 4 feet. Banihal, Doda, upper parts of Ramban, Rajouri and Poonch would receive between 2-3 feet.

Note: Ziraat Times issues weather forecast/advisories in the interest of farmers and general public based on the analysis of multiple weather data, including dynamic and ultraviolet satellite imagery, cloud movement models, super computer-generated direction and speed of winds associated with the westerly jet, temperature variations within Jammu & Kashmir, sub-regions and neighbouring regions, past weather data and weather patterns. While maximum care is taken in generating this information, and most times our forecasts are accurate; due to the rapidly-changing nature of winds, humidity and local cloud formation, at times, the forecast might not go as anticipated. We advise discretion in using this information.