Spring Is Slow to Come to Northern India Where Snow Continues to Pummel the Region

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Image: Rising Kashmir

The Hindu, among other Indian news outlets, reported on a late-April storm which delivered unusually cold temperatures and heavy snow to parts of Northern India, snarling traffic, trapping people in their cars, and hampering election campaigning.

“Rains and fresh snowfall wreaked havoc in Kashmir valley on Monday, with landslides and flooding resulting in the closure of intra-district roads in the three Lok Sabha seats of Anantnag, Baramulla and Srinagar,” said The Hindu. “The worst affected by rains and snowfall is north Kashmir’s Baramulla constituency, where all three districts of Baramulla, Kupwara, and Bandipora witnessed snowfall in upper reaches and torrential rains in the plains.

“Snowfall has completely cut off the Gurez valley, the Machil valley and Tangdhar from the district headquarters of north Kashmir, with two to three feet of snow accumulation recorded at the Razdan Top and the Sadna Top,” The Hindu continued. “Thousands of voters hail from these pockets. Snowfall badly impacted electioneering in these areas.”

As temperatures fell several degrees below normal, the heavy rain and snow, resulted in the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) issuing an Orange alert on April 29.

Forty-nine roads, including three national highways were closed across a wide swath across Northern India due to flooding and landslides. Newsflare posted videos of the Border Roads Organization digging 35 vehicles out of snow, that had been stranded on roads after a snowstorm hit Plan Bandipora, Jammu, and Kashmir.

Northern India’s current weather pattern is a continuation of unusually cold spring conditions that have persisted there throughout much of April. On April 21, the IMD issued a Yellow alert for winter weather conditions, including heavy rain and snow which forced the closure of 104 roads, including three national highways in the Northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.

As reported by Mint, Surender Paul, the head of IMD Himachal Pradesh, told ANI News that cold, stormy conditions were expected to continue through mid-May at least.

“Another western disturbance is approaching the state…Till May 15 there will not be any rise in the temperatures as two more western disturbances will approach during this period in the state,” Paul told ANI.

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