Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The prolonged cold spell over north/northwest/west India finally seems to nearing its end. As per IMD, wit the advent of the W.D., northern regions will start getting the south-westerlies from the 2nd. of Feb. As a result, the temperatures will rise by 3/4 c from the 2nd.

The W.D. is of average strenght, and will result in moderate rains on the 2/3 in the north/northwest and snow over the hills.

What has to be watched is if the expected ridge aloft starts dominating the region. If so, the flow of W.D.s will be halted, albeit temporarily.

There is a mention of a good monsoon by Vinson Kurien, of the Business Line, quoting from a Japanese source.. He also mentions a report from the Japanese source that the La Nina conditions and other parameters are similar to the ones that were prevelant in 1988, when we had a good monsoon.

Well, I would like to mention, that from my records, I see a very hot summer had occured in 1988. This was a result of very little snow cover over western and central Himalayas. Which, in turn was due to no W.D.s in Jan 1988 and only 2 weak W.D.s in Feb '88. This is contrary to the situation of the current year. The snow cover this year is fairly good already as of end Jan. In Jan this year, 2/3 major W.D.s have occured. Comparing the snow cover in 2008, it shows much more coverage than 2007.

In 1988, 2 major W.D.s were prevelent in March.

For getting a proper picture and estimate on the behaviour of the 2008 Monsoon, I would wait till the end of March. That would help us guage the snow cover, estimate the summer heat ( indicative of the extent of "low" development over Rajasthan), and the ITCZ movement from south to north.
I shall be away for a few days and will update my blog on 9th Feb.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Northern India continues to be in the severe grip of the cold wave since the last 12 days without respite. The low temperatures mentioned in my last blog continue, with some new recordings of very low readings. Drass has recorded -30 c two days back. While Patsio in Lahaul-Spiti remain frozen at -25c, Dhundi in Kullu was at - 5.5c. Kalpa recorded a low of -12.6c and high of -2.2c. It also had 3.9-cm fresh snowfall over the past 24 hours. Pahalgam has touched -15c. Delhi has had almost all the minimums at below 5c since, and today on Monday it went back to 2c at Palam and 2.3c at Sfd. Chandigarh's 0c is the lowest in Jan. This diagram of Amritsar shows how the temperature there has fropped and remained below normal (blue area).

The map shows the cold has crept in southwards to Gujarat and Maharashtra. Some of the very lows in Gujarat were 4.5c at Naliya and 6.8c at Rajkot.

In Maharashtra, the lowest was 4,5 c at Nasik. Pune was 5.8c and Lower Mahableshwar was 5.5c. First hand reports from Shiraz in Mahableshwar say of frost on car tops in some areas of the hill station.( all on Sunday,27th.)
On the same day,Mumbai airport was 10.2c. The last time 10c was recorded was in 1991. Colaba was at 14.8c. But this is no record as mentioned in many a reports. The lowest ever at colaba was 11.7c. Mumbai, usually warm and humid, is enjoying below normal temperatures since the last 10 days.

Now with W.D. approaching by the 3rd. over north India, the cold spell is likely to abate.
However, the trough aloft mentioned in my blog earliar is now giving way to a ridge. This means the flow of W.D.s will cease, and we may overall see an upward trend in temperatures.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Sub Continent Cold:

The severe cold has recorded very low temperatures on 21st./22nd. in India and Pakistan.

Some of the very low temperatures in Pakistan on 22nd.:
Kalam -17c, Muree and Quetta -8c, Abbotabad -5c, Faisalabad -1c, Islamabad and Nawabsaha -3c, Lahore -2c, Multan and Sibbi 0c and Karachi 6c.

For India:

Dras experienced the coldest night of the season so far after the minimum temperature dipped to -27°C on 22nd.
The maximum temperature was recorded at -13.5°C. Kargil recorded the coldest night with the minimum temperature dipping to -21.5°C, while the maximum was -10.5°C. Pahalgam was -10c and the maximum temperature there was -1.9c.
In Srinagar, minimum temperature dipped to -5.7°C, four degree below normal. On 22nd, it was the second coldest morning, the coldest night was on January 2 when the temperature dipped to -7.4°C, completely freezing major parts of the Dal.

On 22nd.,Delhi recorded a low of 2.6c, the mercury dipped to -5.2c in Adampur town near Jalandhar, making it the coldest place in north Indian plains. Adampur at - 5.2c on Tuesday morning broke a 36-year-old record of lowest temperature in the north Indian plains. Amritsar was at -2.4 c. Sahranpur in U.P., was coldest in the state at -3c.

According to Jim (Accuweather), the cold is due to the strong jet stream south of the Himalayas over the sub continent.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The effects of the current cold wave is quite severe in Pakistan and north India.
Some of the low temperatures today, which are considered below normal for the places in Pakistan : Karachi 5c, Sibbi,Lahore, Multan and Faisalabad 0c, Islamabd -2c, Abbotabad -5c and Kalam -17c.

In India,Punjab,Delhi and H.P. were cold. Shimla was -2c, but the lowest temperature in the state at – 24 c was recorded at Patseio in Lahaul-Spiti district. Temperatures recorded in other places were: Keylong – 15.9 c; Dhundi (Kullu) -15 c, Bhang (Manali) -7 c and Kalpa (Kinnaur) - 11.2 c.

In Punjab, Adampur was the coldest at -3c, and delhi was at 3c.

Meanwhile, the cold will abate as the W.D. approaches Pakistan by Tuesday, 22nd.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

With the passing of the W.D. and clear skies prevailing, cold wave conditions have engulfed the north, north-west and western India. Only the regions of north konkan are experiancing cold conditions, not the interiors of Maharashtra and areas around. The reason is clear from this streamline map of IMD. The northerly winds overIndia are restricted to these regions, and do not penetrate into Maharashtra. There the winds are "twirling " inwards, preventing the colder winds. Thus the cold is prevelent in Mumbai (12.9) and not in Pune (12) or Aurangabad (13). The last 2 places are above normal by 2-3c.

Also, as the winds show severe cold in almost all of Pakistan. (Islamabad -1c, Nawabshah -2c and Karachi 7c).

Anyway, another W.D. is on its way, and likely to be over north India by the 25th. Naturally the the rain areas to be covered will be north and northwest India.

With the upper air trough still in place, I do not rule out another W.D. in the first week of Feb.

Friday, January 18, 2008

For the present, the last in the series of W.Ds from the west has dissipitated within a day (a day too early), into the Himalayas. There was very little rain/snow today (Friday), and the temperatures were kept above normal by the full flow of moisture into the heartland of India. The IMD departure map of the night temperatures shows it all.

But, as per the estimated forecast date chronology in my previous writeup, the cold wave is to set in over most of the regions by tomorrow. Clear weather with dry northwesterly winds will rule the central, north-west and northern regions, for the next 3/4 days. Thus spearheading cold conditions.

South will remain dry with normal temperatures for the next few days.

Another (feeble ?) W.D. is shown by the "COLA" forecast, and will first precipitate rain over central Arabia and Dubai on the 22nd. Moving on towards Pakistan, it will bring rain there by the 23rd., mostly to the north and some regions of northern Sindh.
The system will be over north-west and north India by the 24th.
Due to the upper air trough firm over the entire region till the end of Jan, we see these series of W.D. systems frequenting the Gulf and the sub continent. The contour map shows more cold air penetrating from the icy extreme north into the gulf region. Thus the severe cold wave there.

For the south, I do not see any chances of rain till the month end at least. The forthcoming strong north-westerlies over the landmass of India, and the north-easterlies over the bay, will knock off any easterly wave trying to approach the east coast.

Meanwhile, according to the BoM (Australia), the current LA NINA, has become a little stonger. The current SOI is +14, very high, and thus causing more than normal cloudiness over region east of Australia, in the south. In the north of the equator, clouding is seen east of Indonesia, due to the favourable SOI. I estimate, this would have brought a wave or two to the east coast of India, but for the north winds mentioned above.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The storm (or series of W.D.s) has ended at last over eastern Arabia, U.A.E. and west Pakistan, but not before leaving its mark.

The effect on Dubai was particularly severe and heavy, as in elsewhere U.A.E. and Saudi Arabia.
A record rainfall for a January day in Dubai yesterday threw normal life out of gear in the emirate. While the rain led to widespread flooding across areas of Dubai, Sharjah and Ajman, partly submerging cars, disrupting traffic and forcing schools to close yesterday, five people were reported killed and many injured in separate road accidents in the emirates.
More than 105mm of rainfall -20mm higher than the January record- was recorded in Dubai from Monday evening to 6pm on Wednessday . The average rainfall for January in Dubai is 17mm.
Sharjah, with 100mm rainfall, was one of the worst affected.

The temperatures too had plunged to severe lows, with many an extreme recorded.

In the United Arab Emirates, the temperature hit zero in the northern areas, and snow fell on Al-Jais mountain last Tuesday in the northern emirate of Ras Al-Khaimah.

In Qatar temperatures dropped to an unusually low of 7c.

In Bahrain, which had its lowest recorded temperature of 2.7 c in 1964, the mercury dropped to between5 c and 7 c.

In Kuwait, the temperature in the open desert dropped to -3 Celsius at dawn on Wednesday for the second straight day, while passengers landing at Kuwait airport were greeted by -1 Celsius.

Snow has fallen on some northern Saudi cities .
Riyadh recorded 0 c on the 15th.

A light dusting of snow fell in Baghdad this weekend in what weather officials said was the first time ever. Rare snowfalls were also recorded in the west and centre of Iraq.

In western Pakistan, the hinterland of Balochistan state, rainfall was nearly 6 cms at both Dalbandin and Nokkundi.Nokkundi had a constant temperature of 3c (max. 3c and min 3c) throughout the day on 16th. Quetta got a good soaking, too.

The system now has moved into the eastern parts of Pakistan and into the Indian Himalayas, but surely on a weaker scale.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Very cold and freezing temperatures. That is what the mid east has experianced in the last week. The system has poured freezing rain and even snow( Baghdad for the first time ever), and some places have even recieved their annual quota of precipitation. Jim has given some very interesting figures and the record lows of the region from his data bank ( Accuweather).

"The next W.D. will be there middle of next week", well, this estimate from my last blog is exactly on schedule.
The fairly strong W.D., arriving from the west, is today pouring rain over Dubai, 28mms till 8pm. local time, and all over the north Oman coast. At Muscat, it has started to rain at 8 pm. local time. The position of the system as on 11.30 pm IST today is shown in this image.
Some areas in Pakistan have also recieved rain today. Now, more rain and some heavy snow is expected over north Pakistan and north India from tomorrow. Due to this development, the temperatures have shown an upward trend, and are above normal by as much as 6c in some places.
The system, cutting across Saudi Arabia and through U.A.E., is now moving towards the sub continent due to the low aloft over the Iran/Pakistan and North India regions.

The forecast for the current week for India will be:
- Good snowfall in the upper and mid reaches of Kashmir, H.P., and Uttaranchal during 16/17/18th.
- Fairly good rains inPunjab, Haryana, and N.Rajasthan during 16/17th.
-Medium rains over Delhi, East U.P. and North M.P. on 17/18th.
-Cold conditions over all of the northern regions and Gujarat and N.Maharashtra from 19th.( cold in Mumbai at the weekend). From the 19th. the winds over the central and northern regions will be strong and northerly.
- cold wave conditions from 19th.
- south and rest of India will be dry. South will be dry due to the strong W.D. preventing any further sytem or wave from bringing rain to the region.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


The upper reaches in the Kashmir valley, including Gulmarg, experienced fresh snowfall during the past 24 hours. About 1 to 5 feet of snow had accumulated on the ski slopes at Gulmarg, Affarwat and Khilanmarg. Srinagar and the adjoining areas also experienced snowfall for about half an hour in the morning on Wednessday.

The effect of the strong W.D. was more in H.P. The tribal Kinnaur in particular was experiencing heavy snowfall with Rackong Peo receiving 105 cm of snowfall for the past 36 hours. It was the heaviest since 1992 when 200 cm of snowfall was recorded in five days. Dhundi in Kullu recorded the maximum 110 cm of snowfall, followed by Solang Nullah 80 cm, Hatu Peak 75 cm, Reckong Peo 50 cm and Keylong 45 cm. Patsio recording the lowest temperature of - 7°C, followed by Keylong - 4.7°C and Kalpa - 2.5°C.

Manali experienced fresh snowfall, while the lower parts were lashed by rain. The entire upper Manali region has been covered with a thick blanket of snow.
The snowfall, which started on Wednessday evening, was still continuing and about 25 cm of snowfall was recorded in the town.

However, the W.D. has now breaking up in the high ranges ,and the rain/snow is expected to decrease. Since the temperatures all over the central and northern plains are now almost 3-5c above normal, I expect them to start dropping substantially by tomorrow.

As estimated, the strong n-e winds have pushed away possibilities of any meaningfull rain in the south, or the possibility of the W.D. travelling beyond the Himalayan range.

Now, the next W.D., on its way ,should hit north India by mid week next.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The W.D. has left Iran causing much damage and snow. Quoting BBC, "The heaviest snowfall in more than a decade has blanketed parts of Iran over the last few days, killing more than 20 people, with many more still missing. The snow caused a number of avalanches, with the build up of ice on the roads causing numerous traffic accidents. "
As per Jim's report in his blog, low temperatures have been the marked features of this system.
The max. temperature in Tehran yesterday was -4c and min. -11c.

Today the "monster storm", in Jim's words, has unleashed itself over Pakistan. Some heavy rain/snow figures of Pakistan today were:
Pattan=64, Chitral=56, Drosh=49, Balakot=45, Malamjaba=40, Muzaffarabad=38, Murree=38, Garidupata=37, Saidusharif=36. Days were exceptionally cold with Faisalabad at 14c as the day temperature, low for the region.

Tomorrow, Wednessday, the storm will be over north and north-west India. Subsequently, after 2 days, the skies will clear, and the temperatures will drop.

But, another W.D. is on its way. By Friday/Saturday, it will have affected the U.A.E. and Oman. The system is more south clinging, and is likely to run along the Sindh coast eastwards.
North India should be in the range by Sunday/Monday.

Monday, January 07, 2008

The first "feeble" W.D. has snowed off and broken of in the higher ranges of upper Kashmir region. The system has given a few spells of snow and rain in the northern most regions of India and central and north Pakistan. And the the temperatures have risen due to the cloudiness.
The second W.D. is now on its way.It being stronger, is expected to bring good rain and snow to Pakistan, almost the whole of it, from today. For India, as anticipated, the rains will start from Tuesday and will last for 2/3 days in the regions mentioned in my last write up. A cold wave will then follow in north, central and northern regions of the peninsula. Almost on schedule as per my last blog.

For the south, the easterly wave has broken up, and the ITCZ has now moved south, due to the cyclone in the Madagascar Sea.
This beautiful image shows it all ! the W.D., the "easterely wave" and the ITCZ with the cyclone embedded in it.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

The receding cold wave saw some really low temperatures in the last few nights.. Besides the temperatures mentioned in my last blog, a of the few notable lows were: Lodhi Gardens (Delhi) 1.3 degrees c, Awantipur (Kashmir) -9 degrees c, Jalandhar -2 degrees c and Nalliya (Gujarat) 2 degrees c.

With the advent of the anticipated W.D., the cold wave conditions in north India have abated. Suddenly with the emerging cloud cover, the night temperatures will rise by 4-5 degrees c overnight. Extensive cloud ccver is seen over Pakistan today, where the rain/snow has commenced, and Srinagar has experianced snow today. This particular W.D., being a bit feeble, will effect the the regions of central and north Pakistan and hilly areas of India only. But the second W.D. in the sereis, coming on the heels of the first, is stronger. For the second W.D., assisted with the help of a "secondary low" in the sindh area of Pakistan and Rajasthan, the incursion of moisture from the Arabian Sea into all of Pakistan, Rajasthan and all the regions of north India ( Punjab,Kashmir, Haryana and the hilly states) will be particularly heavy.

Heavy rain can be expected in the coastal areas of sindh on 6-7 Jan. and plenty of rain in the rest of Pakistan.
Come Monday and punjab, haryana and delhi and the north western parts of the India are likely to see a mix of cloud and showers, some of the showers heavy, with the chance of some hail and thunder. The north of gujarat and south rajasthan will have some cloud and a few light showers at times.

The two combined W.D.s are likely to last till the end of next week, till the 13th. before disintgrating into the central Himalayas (Due to stronger n-e winds from the bay). A cold wave can be expected in all of north, central and western India (including maharashtra and north karnatak) from the 13th. onwards. More of this later, as it is premature to forecast that from now !

The prevailing easterly wave bringing rain to south India will dissipate soon, maybe by tomorrow. With the W.D.s moving in, south is not expected to get much rain through any systems or "waves". In fact, the existing north easterly winds blowing over the bay, can get stronger, and push the rain belt southwards.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Low night temperatures ! That has been the story for Pakistan and north India for the last few days (rather nights)! A few of the" below normal" lows recorded in Pakistan were: -13c Kalat,-9 Quetta, ,-3c Islamabad,-2c Lahore,-1 Nawwabshah and Faisalabad, 7c Karachi.

Across the border, it was -20c Leh, -9c Awantipur,-3 Adampur(Punjab),-2c Amritsar,-1c Churu, 1.9c Delhi and, ofcourse, 12.2c Mumbai (SantaCruz).

Just for information, the lowest in Asia yesterday was Ojmjakon (siberia) at -55c !

Now, according to Vinson of the Bussiness Line, the ridge causing the "dry" cold is being pushed by an approaching W.D.

This, and another W.D. behind, is likely to bring good amounts of rain, first to Pakistan, by the weekend. In fact, as per the "COLA", the full region from Dubai to Pakistan, especially Sindh region, will get damped by the system, during the weekend and early next week.

For India, it will be snow for Kashmir and the hills next week. Fair amounts of rain in Punjab,Haryana and north Rajasthan could be forecasted, as per the GFS, for next week.

As Jim informs, the system has already dumped snow over Tehran,where the day temperature was 2c.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Cold conditions are prevailing in the north west and north India and in Pakistan since the last few days.

In Pakistan, the low has dropped to -2 c in Islamabad, and to -13c in Skardu and Kalat. Nawabshah and Sibi in Sindh are cold at a low of 0 degreesc. Karachi recorded 7c last night.

People in the Kashmir valley, Leh, Kargil and Dras continue to shiver with biting cold during nights but enjoy during the day because of above normal temperature.
The minimum temperature in the valley was -7.9 c, coldest night of the winter so far. Yesterday, it was -7.1 c during the night, a weather office spokesman said.
The major parts of the world famous Dal Lake froze and water tapes in several localities were damaged. However, frozen water and water tapes started melting as the day progressed.
It was the coldest night after the minimum temperature was recorded at -7.9c, 5.2 degrees below normal.
The lowest temperature of minus 12.8 c was recorded on December 13, 1964 when water in the Dal Lake was totally frozen.
However, the day was a bit warmer after the maximum temperature was recorded at 12 c, five degree above normal.
There is a difference of 10 degree between minimum and maximum temperature in the valley.
Interestingly, night temperature at tourist spot Pahalgam was minus 6.8 c, about a degree warmer than Srinagar. Nights in Kupwara, Baramulla, Banihal, Katra, Doda, Kishtwar and Jammu were few degree warmer than Srinagar.
However, people in Leh, Kargil and Dras, continued to shiver after the temperature dipped to -15 C to minus 20 c

Delhi had the coldest night of the season and the minimum was 2.6c, and Adampur at -3c and Amrisar at -2c (both in Punjab).

Mumbai dropped to 13.8c two days ago, and has been at around 15c for the last few days(Santa Cruz.)

Big rainfall numbers from core monsoon zone in the past 24 hrs.  Porbandar,Guj   49 cm  Eluru, AP   27 cm        Castle Rock  24 cm   Compil...