A dry spell lasting over two months in Jammu and Kashmir is likely to end this week as weathermen predicts light to moderate rain in plains and snowfall in high-altitude areas of the state from November 14. The wet spell is likely to continue for a few days initially and at regular intervals after that, a good news for the people who have been facing a lot of problems due to the prevailing conditions, including health issues and shortage of drinking water. Low discharge in water bodies also impacted power generation in the valley with authorities citing it as one of the reasons for massive curtailment in the supply of electricity - 21 hour power cut in metered areas in a week and 42-hour outage every week in non-metered areas. "Light to moderate rainfall in the plains and moderate snowfall in the higher reaches is likely to occur in the state from November 14 to November 17," a spokesman of the Meteorological Department told PTI. He said scattered rainfall or snow is expected on November 14, followed by fairly widespread rain or snow during the subsequent three days, marking an end to the dry spell in the state. Meteorologist G H Mir said Jammu recorded 9.2mm of rainfall on September 7, the day when the monsoon withdrew eight days ahead of normal schedule. The winter capital recorded 870mm of rainfall during this monsoon, registering a shortfall of 410mm against the average of 1,280mm for the last three decades, he said. Mir said the state's summer capital Srinagar recorded 3.7mm of rainfall on September 11, while Leh in Ladakh region witnessed 0.44mm of rain on September 8. "There was no rainfall since then with the month of October passing off without a single drop of rain anywhere in the state," he said. Mir, however, said this was not a new phenomenon in the state as last year the dry spell continued for over 80 days, while in 2007 the dry spell lasted 85 days. "October is known as a month of least rainfall in the state.
It mostly remains dry," Mir said. He said a low pressure system under the influence of western disturbance was building up as a result of which the dry spell was expected to end in the coming days. "The wet weather is expected to return later this month," he said. The spokesman said snowfall is expected in high-altitude areas of the state including the famous ski resort of Gulmarg, the star attraction for tourists visiting the valley during winter, besides Zaojilla pass along the Srinagar-Leh National Highway. "The entire Pir Panchal range is expected to experience moderate snowfall," he said. The spokesman said the minimum temperature across the state is expected to rise due to a cloud cover in the coming days, while the day temperature is expected to fall by a few degrees Celsius. Leh town in the frontier region of Ladakh is the coldest recorded place in the state with night temperature plummeting to minus 4.3 degrees Celsius, he said. Srinagar recorded a low of 1.5 degrees Celsius, which is almost normal for this part of the season, while Jammu witnessed a drop of three degrees in the night temperature which settled at 11.2 degrees Celsius, the spokesman said. The maximum temperature recorded in Jammu was 28.1 degrees Celsius, while Srinagar recorded a high of 19.8 degrees Celsius, two degrees above normal, yesterday.
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