Himachal coldest and wettest after 36 yrs

The first nine days of this month were the coldest and wettest compared to the same period of 1987 almost 36 yrs ago in the history of Himachal Pradesh, Minimum temperature of Dharmshala and Keylong was the coldest ever, The Indian Meteorological Department claimed in special weather analysis released here today.

The minimum temperature at the abode of Tibetan Spiritual leader Dalai Lama Dharamshala in Kangra district and headquarter of Lahaul Spiti district Keylong broke the record in the month of May 2023. The IMD said that the Minimum temperature of Dharamshala on May 1 and 8 May 2023 was 8.4 degrees before this town was recorded at 8.7  degrees on May 6, 2009. Similarly, Keylong  was coldest ever at minus 2.6 degrees today( May 9, 2023) breaking the record of  minus 1.6 degrees ( on May 2, 2019) and It is worthwhile to mention that the minimum temperature of Keylong was also minus two degrees ( May 8, 2023)

The State of Himachal witnessed appreciably to markedly below normal maximum and minimum temperature and such range of temperature was previously recorded in the year 1987, IMD press release issued here today claimed. The two international destinations of the state record the highest footfall of tourists during summer and winter seasons witnessed the average maximum temperature at Shimla (May 1 to May 9, 2023) around 12.4 -22.4 degrees and a Minimum of 8.4 to 12.2 degrees compared to (to May 1 to May 9, 1987 ) at 10.1 to 17.6 degrees and 1.8 to 8 degrees. 

Similarly, during the same period average Max Av. temperature of Manali was  11.4 to 19.4 degrees, and Minimum  Av was 5.0 to 10.8 degrees from May 1 2023 to May 9 , 2023, compared to  12 to 22.7 degrees and 5.5 to 9.6 degrees in 1987.

The regional headquarter of Kinnaur, Kalpa was 8.4 to 18.2 degrees and 0.5 to 6.8 degrees in 2023 compared to 8.0 to 12.5 degree to minus -2 to two degrees in 1987. 

Dharmshala was Av. Max. 17.2 to  27 degrees and Av. Min. 8.4 to 14.8 degrees compared to 18.7 to 26.9 degrees and 10.1 to 15 degrees in 1987. Similarly, the foothill town of State, Una was Av Max 22.2 to 36 degrees and Av Min. 15.4 to 18 in 2023 compared to 25 to 32 degrees and 14.8 to 19.7 degrees in 1987. The Palampur in Kangra district was Av Max. 16.5 to 25.6 degrees and Av Min. 10 to 13.5 degrees in 2023 compared to 17.6 to 20.3 degrees and 9.9 to 13.8 degrees in 1987.

The average Min. and Max. temperatures were appreciably below normal during the period as the highest Max. temperature during this period was recorded 36 degrees on. May 8, 2023. 

Why state was coldest after so many years?

IMD attributed the sudden decline of mercury in the month of May 2023 to frequent western disturbances in the early summer season. The state witnessed fairly widespread light to moderate rainfall accompanied by thunderstorms, lightning, hail, and gusty winds in mid-hills, plain and low hills of the state whereas Snowfall in the districts of Lahaul & Spiti and Kinnaur. Thus temperature rain and snowfall were also recorded widespread in the state which plummet the Mercury drastically. 

The IMD attributes the rain in the month of May to the post-winter rain or pre-monsoon. The precipitation recorded in pre-monsoon season 2023 till date in the state is 222.8

mm against the normal precipitation amount of 197.1 mm, therefore, the month of May shows 13 percent excess rainfall above the normal. 

According to IMD  Chief amount of precipitation in the State was recorded on May 1, 2023, at Kangra(Gaggal)- 58.3 mm, Shimla – 53.1 mm, and Palampur(Kangra) – 23.8 mm,

On May 2, 2023 Jogindernagar(Mandi)- 47 mm, Manali-24 mm, Pachhad(Sirmaur) -23 mm.  On May 3, 2023, ( Heaviest) Dalhousie (Chamba)- 80 mm, Kotla(Una) – 67 mm Bhatiyat(Chamba)- 57 mm, Dehra Gopipur(Kangra)-41.2 mm. Gondal also got two cm of snowfall. On May 4, 2023 Dharampur(Solan)-36.4 mm, Solan- 28.2 mm, Karsog(Mandi)- 23 mm, On May 5, 2023, Pandoh(Mandi)- 7 mm, Palampur(Kangra)- 2.4 mm, Berthin(Bilaspur) and Gohar(Mandi) -2 mm each, On May 6, 2023 Sarahan(Shimla) one mm  and Palampur(Kangra) 0.4 mm, On May 7, 2023 Bharmaur(Chamba)- 30 mm, Jogindernagar(Mandi)- 19 mm, Banjar(Kullu)-18.2 mm.  Gondola in Lahaul Spiti recorded 5.5 cm of snow and Keylong -3.2 cm. On May 8, 2023, BharmaurChamba)- 27 mm, Kotkahi(Shimla)11.1 mm, Banjar(Kullu) 10.5 mm, Gondla 9.2 cm snow, and Keylong four cm. and May 9, 2023, Bharmaur 23 mm, Manali 17 mm, Kasauli 16.5 mm, and Hansa 20 cm snow, Keylong 12.2 cm and Gondla 11.5 cm.

High reaches of Himachal also got about 20 to 20 cm of snowfall last night stranding dozens of tourists in the snowbound areas. According to Kullu and Lahaul Spiti district administration, ten tourists were evacuated by the rescue party braving the heavy snowfall and bone-chilling cold wave.

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