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Weather and Climate of Jammu and Kashmir

Climate is the longer-term average of weather conditions in a given area for a specific period usually years to hundreds of years.

Weather and Climate of Jammu and Kashmir 

Weather and Climate of Jammu and Kashmir

Weather is the manifestation of the current state of the atmosphere in a particular location at a particular time. This includes such factors as air temperature, humidity, precipitation density, and wind speed.
Climate is the longer-term average of weather conditions in a given area for a specific period (usually years to hundreds of years). In short, the weather is what you feel every day, and climate is the repeated pattern of weather over time.

Jammu and Kashmir state lies in the Sub-tropical climate regions and since its character is mountainous, therefore, its climate to a greater extent is controlled by its mountain characteristics. Nevertheless, Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh with specific climates have certain unique differences between one region and another. 

The biggest challenge of the J&K region is its variety of climates owing to widely varying deafening heights. Thus, an area which is experiencing a tropical climate, for example Jammu, puts up with variations of temperature, whereas the subtropical area, e.g. Kashmir, has a lower temperature. 

Dr. Arthur Neva hardly pauses for breath in the statement that J&K is extremely conducive to the Europeans. The climate of J&K shows a tremendously much of a variation in accordance with its high topography.

Climate of Jammu Division of J&K State 

If we talk about the climate of Jammu Division from the view of climate it is divided into two parts:
  • The plane region which is located to the south of the shivalik
  • The mountainous region which is located in Dada, Rojouri, Poonch and Udampur district and stretches over the middle and the Greater Himalayas.

At Himalayas in lower reaches temperatures starts rising from the month March. In Jammu region the maximum  and mean minimum temperature is 23 degree celsius and 12 degree in March month.

The day and night template reaches 32 degree Celsius and 18 degree respectively in the month of april and jamps 38 degree Celsius and 25 degree Celsius in the month of May. The hortest month of jammu is June in which mean monthly temperature is recorded of about 31.65 degree Celsius. 

In the month of May or June, the relative humadity may falls to below 20% and the maximum temperature records 47 degree Celsius in June 1953.

All the towns lying south of the Siwaliks (Akhnur, Hiranagar, Kathua, Samba, etc.) experience intense tropical heat in May and June. During the summer season in the city of Jammu and its environs, a cool wind descends from the Siwaliks at night, known locally as "Dadu." Cumulus and nimbus clouds are common from July to August.

In the summer season, the mild morning breeze becomes warm around 10 am and hot at noon, blowing steadily from west to east. This hot local wind is called the "Loo."

January is the coldest month in the plains of Jammu, with an average monthly temperature of around 13°C. Fog, mist, and frost are frequent in the morning hours of December, January, and February. Frost is especially common during these months.

The months of July and August are the wettest in Jammu, with average monthly rainfall of about 275 mm and 250 mm, respectively.

November is almost rainless, with an average monthly rainfall of about 8 mm. This period features clear skies and a cool morning breeze, making it the month of “invigorating climate.”

The monsoon reaches the Jammu division in the last week of June or the first week of July and lasts until the 20th of September.

The average annual rainfall in Jammu city is about 965 mm, with 75% occurring during the monsoon season.

Winter rainfall in Jammu is due to western disturbances, with average rainfall from December to March totaling 150 mm.

In the higher altitudes of the Greater Himalayas and the Pir Panjal range, snowfall is frequent from December to March. 

A marked characteristic of rainfall in the Jammu division is the decrease in precipitation from east to west and north to west. Additionally, leeward slopes receive less rainfall than windward slopes. The monsoons impact the Jammu region, typically arriving in mid-June.

Based on the distribution of annual rainfall and temperature, the year in the Jammu region is divided into three seasons.

1. Winter Season (November-Feberuary)
  • The average rainfall during the winter season is 13cm.
2. Summar Season ( March-June)
  • The average rainfall during the summer season is 11cm.
3. Rainy Season (June-October)
  • The average rainfall during rainy seoson id 65cm.

Climate of Kashmir Division of J&K State

The weather and climate of the Kashmir division are intrinsically linked with the weather mechanisms of the subcontinent in general.

The Kashmir Valley, situated at a high altitude (about 1600 meters) in the northwestern corner of the subcontinent and surrounded by high mountains on all sides, has a unique geographical character with distinctive climatic characteristics. The features of the climate of Kashmir are as follows:
  • Mild Summer.
  • Vigorous and Severe winter with snowing and rain.
  • A muggy and oppressive weather in the month of July and August.
  • The most exquisitely pleasant spring
In the Koppen classification of climate, the valley of Kashmir falls into the Dfb category, characterized by humid, severe, raw winters and short, mild summers.

Based on temperature and precipitation, the year in the valley of Kashmir can be divided into the following four seasons:
  1. Winter Season (November-Feberuary)
  2. Spring Season (March-Mid May)
  3. Summer Season (Mid May-Mid September)
  4. Autumn Season (Mid September-October)

Winter Season
In the valley of Kashmir, the winter season lasts from November to February. The temperature substantially declines in December, with the mean maximum and mean minimum being about 8°C and 1.4°C, respectively.

January is the coldest month in Kashmir, locally known as the period of Chillai Kalan (40 days of intense cold). Heavy snowfall is common during this month.

The winter season receives about 120 cm of snow, with January accounting for 42% of the total snowfall.

A significant hazard in winter is the occurrence of Kot Koshu (frost), which freezes the damp moisture in the air, damaging trees and even congealing eggs.

The Kashmiri folk hold a strong conviction about the color and nature of clouds. In their opinion, white clouds (cirrus) are certain to bring heavy rain, while dark clouds indicate no rain or light showers.

In winter, rainfall occurs due to the western disturbances (temperate cyclones). These disturbances originate in the Mediterranean Sea. The rainfall generated by these cyclones is fairly widespread and locally known as “Alamgir.”

There are, however, significant variations in the Kashmir division. For example, the city of Srinagar records about 30 cm of rainfall during the winter season, while the corresponding period at Baramulla and Anantnag sees about 35 and 34 cm, respectively.

October and November are usually dry months, but in December, the sky becomes overcast with clouds and haze. By the third week of December, the snow sets in. The relative humidity typically remains around 90% in winter.

Spring Season
March to mid May is the season of spring locally known as ‘Sounth’. In March, the day temperature fluctuates between 10°C to 16°C. March is the wettest month having a high frequency of western disturbances and recording about 200 mm average rainfall.(highest of the year). 

The day temperature shoots up abruptly in the month of April. The night temperature also registers a steady increase, the mean maximum and mean minimum temperature in this month being about 21°C and 8°C respectively. There is also a decline in the mean monthly rainfall. 

Summer Season
June to September is the period of summer season in the valley of Kashmir. The mean monthly temperature in May at Srinagar reads about 22°C the mean maximum and mean minimum being about 29.4 DC and 15°C. 

July is the hottest month in which the maximum temperature on a particular day may shot up to 35°C at Srinagar. 

The valley of Kashmir surrounded by high mountains on all sides receives very little rainfall. E.g., at Srinagar the total rainfall 

in summer is Only 51.3 mm which is only about 6° of its average annual rainfall. The relative humidity in these months is 40 to 60 percent. 

The occasional showers in the months of June, July and August have special importance for the Saffron growers. 

Showers sometimes fall in the beginning of September. These showers are locally known as Kambarka which are considered of immense importance to the spring crops of the subsequent year. 

In September, the temperature begins to fall, the nights become cool and by the end of this month, the evenings are almost cold. The mean maximum and mean minimum temperatures In this month in Srinagar read as 27°C and 11°C respectively The average monthly rainfall in September ts only 13mm.

Autumn Season 
The months of autumn are characterized by least disturbed weather. October and November are the two months with bright, pleasant sun and cold night and October is considered to be the healthiest and most delightful of all months in Kashmir. 

This season attracts the largest number of tourists in the valley from the various parts of the country and abroad. 

Flowering of saffron is the striking feature of this season. In the month of October, the mean maximum and the mean minimum temperatures read about 22°C and §.6°C respectively. 

The Kashmiri’s on the basis of their empirical experience divide a year into six 
  • Sonth - Spring
  • Grisham - Summar
  • Wahrat - Rainy
  • Harad - Autumn
  • Wandah - Winter
  • Sheshhr - Ice Cold
The Mediterraneam winds enter the valley through western direction from December to March and shed rains in Kashmir. 

The winds that enter the state through western and eastern passes shed major portion of their moisture over the mountains. The Indus valley 1s inaccessible to these winds and so there 1s very low rainfall. 
Climate of Jammu and Kashmir
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