Snow, rain likely to hit north India this week

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NEW DELHI: Snow chasers planning a trip to the hills this weekend could well be in for a treat. December’s first major snow spell is expected this week, particularly on Thursday and Friday, in all the three northern hill states and UT, with widespread snowfall likely at elevations over 2000m, along with rain and hailstorms in the northern plains, including Delhi-NCR, the met department said.
“Hill stations such as Shimla may get light snow while places just a little higher, such as Kufri, could see heavy falls on December 12 and 13. The system will impact J&K, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand,” said Kuldeep Srivastava, head of IMD’s regional weather forecasting centre here.
He said the northern plains will see rain at many places, with the forecasted impact up to Madhya Pradesh and Bihar. “In the plains, Punjab, Haryana and Delhi-NCR could get heavy rainfall at many places, along with thunderstorm and hail in isolated pockets, on these two days. Rainfall is expected to be lighter in west Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, while rains will be restricted to isolated places in other places,” Srivastava said.
Maximum temperatures are set to fall across the northern plains from Wednesday/Thursday, leading to more chilly days. In Delhi, day temperatures could fall below 20 degrees Celsius for the first time this season on Friday, according to the regional met centre. With the wet weather leaving behind moisture, fog is forecast across the plains from Saturday.
While J&K has had several rounds of snow this season, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand saw three spells in November, and none in December so far. “The snowfall so far has been restricted to the higher reaches in Himachal. Shimla, and even Kufri, haven’t got snow so far this winter. But that is set to change with the spell expected from Wednesday. There’s a possibility of light snow in Shimla as well,” said Manmohan Singh, head of the meteorological centre at Shimla.
The cause of the wet spell is a western disturbance (WD), which is a pulse of moist and cool winds originating from the Mediterranean region that brings rain/snow into north India in winters. However, the current WD is likely to have a wider footprint because of a cyclonic circulation it is set to induce.
“The induced circulation is likely to set in over north Rajasthan/east Pakistan by Tuesday night. It’ll suck in moisture from the Arabian Sea. This will increase the intensify and spread of the wet spell,” Srivastava said.

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