SUSHIL Kumar SHARMA
Shimla is missing snow, time and again. As some parts in the higher reaches of the state and the adjoining Himalayan states have experienced snowfall, the Queen of Hills, Shimla, has yet to receive its share. The revellers faced disappointment,both, on the Christmas and the New Year eve.During the current winter season, a light spell of snowfall occurred on December 12 night , but it still awaits its usual flair of snowfall.The weather data of the Meteorological Department reveals that in the last 15 years the snowfall pattern has witnessed delay in snowfall with snowfall days are getting shorter. Perhaps the climate change has taken a toll on the phenomenon of early snow, with the snow days in Shimla witnessing a shorter duration.
The Meteorological Department has attributed the changing trend to the climate change, which includes change in average weather conditions that include temperature, precipitation, winds and other factors, especially when the change lasts for a long period of time.According to the officials, the overall snowfall season is shrinking with decreasing of seasonal snowfall and snowfall days in Himachal Pradesh. Earlier, the harsh winters would usually spread over between November and March-end. But no more. The seasonal winter days are getting delayed and ending early. The linear trend of snowfall days in Shimla has also shown a compression, with not only decrease in snowfall but also the number of days. However, after the past one and half decade, the snowfall period has shrunk between December and March.
According to officials, the decrease in precipitation, both the rain and snow, are on a increase with snow pattern in Shimla decreasing at 4 cm per year in Shimla. The snowfall pattern over Satluj catchment too has shown a decrease of 3.8 cms per year. Increasing temperatures recorded from various stations reveal that at Kalpa in Kinnaur district the temperature increasing per year at a rate of 0.09, while, Shimla 0.13, Dharamsala in district Kangra at 0.10, Sunder Nagar in Mandi district at 0.09 and Bhuntar in Kullu district 0.06, revealed Meteorological Department. The linear trend of maximum temperatures at different stations in HP shows increase in temperatures in the winter season as well.
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