Climate change: Unseasonal hailstorms pose greater risk to horticulture
1: A new phenomenon of unseasonal
hailstorms is causing huge damage to the horticulture crops in Jammu and
Data released by
Meteorological Department, Kashmir (MET), 29 high-velocity hailstorms have
occurred in Jammu and Kashmir since 2017.
“The number of
hailstorms in 2017 was seven, while the number stood at nine in 2018. The year
2019 saw a surge with 13 hailstorms reported across J&K,” the data
A hailstorm is an
unusual weather phenomenon in which balls of ice, called hail, fall from the
sky. The ice balls are nothing more than solid precipitation that will form
under certain conditions.
indicated that instances of hailstorm were observed from March to September.
Romshoo, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Kashmir said in the last
three years, Kashmir has been repeatedly battered by different extreme events
like untimely snowfall and hailstorm causing huge damage to crops and orchards.
extreme events, hailstorms are mostly observed during pre-monsoon season from
March to May in the valley,”
What has baffled
the scientists is that the frequency of hailstorms has increased in June, July,
and September. “These are all manifestations of climate change,” said Romshoo.
occurrences of hailstorm are unavoidable, a need is being felt for better
forecasting and preparations.
“The number of
automatic observation weather stations should be increased in J&K. This can
help in issuing severe weather warnings when the hail reaches a damaging size,
as it can cause serious damage to structures, crops and live stocks,” Romshoo
Kashmir, Sonam Lotus said with an adequate number of Doppler Weather Radars,
the department will be able to monitor and forecast better. “Issuing timely
warnings and advisories before and after hailstorms will help farmers to
protect the crop and minimize loss,” he said.