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Each decade, cold waves increasing in number and intensity in J&K: Earth Sciences ministry

February 6, 2021
File photo: KM/Umar Ganie

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir has reported an increased number of cold waves during the recent years, according to the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences.

Responding in affirmative to a question by member Lok Sahba Mohammed Basheer whether the Government was aware that the extreme climatic events have increased “significantly” across India in the 21st century, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences informed parliament that the increase in various extreme weather and climate events such as heavy rainfall, floods, droughts, cyclones, heat waves and cold waves have been observed in the country in line with the increase in the extreme events observed over various parts of the globe.

“…it is found that states like Rajasthan or Andhra Pradesh and Union Territories (UT) like Delhi are reporting increased number of heat waves and Haryana, J&K and Uttar Pradesh report increased number of cold waves during the recent years,” he said in the written answer.

The minister said that Jammu and Kashmir reported four cold wave days in 1971-80, 5 in 1981-90, 5 in 1991-00, 6 in 2001-10 and 7 in 2011-19.  

To mention, the 2020-21 winters in Kashmir so far have been one of the worst in recent years.

To minimize the adverse effect of the hazardous extreme weather events, he said, India Meteorological Department (IMD) is effectively functioning in the country maintaining accurate weather forecasting along with early detection of natural disasters.

“IMD is dedicated for monitoring, detection and forecasting of weather and climate including early warning for severe weather events such as, heavy rainfall, extreme temperature, thunderstorms, cyclones etc. The weather forecasting and early warning systems in the country are comparable to most of the developed countries in the world,” he said, adding, “Efforts are continuously made to enhance the level of efficiency of the forecasting systems and to improve the skill of weather forecast.”

During the past few years, he said, IMD has been continuously improving weather prediction services in terms of accuracy, lead time and associated impact.

“The accuracy of the weather forecast is more than 80% qualitatively and 65-70% quantitatively for various regions in the country. The forecasts and warnings are issued by IMD at the national, State and district levels. It has a network of State Meteorological Centres for better coordination with State and district level agencies,” he said.

“With the upgradation of observations and prediction systems, noticeable improvements have been made in the recent past in the skill of prediction, especially with respect to heavy-rainfall, heat-wave, thunderstorm and cyclones,” the minister said.

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