Warmer winter: Has ‘Chillai Kalan’ lost sting in Kashmir

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Srinagar: For the second consecutive year, Kashmir witnessed a warmer Chillai-Kalan with mercury remaining 0.9 degree celsius above normal.

Official data accessed by The Kashmir Monitor revealed that against the overall normal temperature of 2.4 degree celsius, the mercury in January remained at 3.3 degree Celsius.

However, the precipitation during the month was 68 percent, which is  more than normal. Data revealed that Srinagar received 90.3 mm of rainfall during the month, which is 36.4 mm more than normal (53.9mm).

The average minimum temperature in January has been recorded at minus 1.1 degree Celsius, which is high when compared to the Chillai Kalan of 2021.

The highest maximum temperature during the 40 days was recorded on January 5 when the mercury touched 11 degree Celsius.

As per the records, the lowest temperature was also recorded on the same date when the mercury dipped to minus 6.4 in Srinagar.

Before it, the valley also recorded a warmer Chillai Kalan in 2022 when the overall average temperature was recorded at 3.7 degree Celsius.

 In 2022 Chillai Kalan, the valley recorded 85 percent higher precipitation than normal.

Data said that the valley had witnessed one of the harshest Chillai Kalan in 2021 when the average temperature was 1.8 degree Celsius below normal.

During 2021, the overall average temperature during Chillai Kalan in Srinagar was recorded at 0.6 degree Celsius. The rainfall during the month was 180 percent more than normal.

Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), had predicted that the winter (December to February) will be warmer than normal for northwest and northeast India.

IMD had said the most drastic impact would be in Jammu and Kashmir where there was a “55-75 percent” chance of warmer nights.

Experts predict temperatures above normal in February as well.

“Temperature in February is again expected to be above normal. However, there are chances of either below normal or normal precipitation,” said Faizan Arif,  founder of the popular weather channel, ‘Kashmir Weather’.

Arif linked the warmer Chillai Kalan to the La Niña conditions. “La Nina has been prevailing since 2020. It is expected to continue till February,” he said.

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