by Shefali Rafiq
The metrological department recorded the highest temperature of the season in Kashmir on Thursday and expected the temperatures to increase further till this weekend.
On Thursday the temperature was recorded at 32.7 degree Celsius and it is expected to go higher said Sonam Lotus, the director of the meteorological department Jammu and Kashmir.
“First torrential rains wreaked havoc across the state and now the temperatures are rising day by day,” the weatherman asserted.
Since the Amarnath Yatra, now in its fourth day, is going on, there is a lot of emphasis on the weather conditions. The yearly Hindu pilgrimage passes through arduous treks to reach the cave and requires adequate weather forecasting. Yatra movement between the stations is permitted or basis of the weather predictions.
“Moderate to severe thunderstorm and showers with lightning and strong gusty winds are most likely to hit (above 75percent) areas including Kathua, Samba, Jammu, Udampur, Reasi, Doda, Kistawar, Ramban etc during next 1-3hrs.” Lotus said. “A spell of evening shower is also expected likely en-route Pahalgam Holy Cave and Baltal.”
Weatherman also said Katra area, the base camp for the pilgrims visiting Vaishno Devi shrine in Reasi district, was the second hottest place in the state with a high of 39.7 degrees Celsius.
During the 40-days of Yatra, Lotus said usually the inclement weather conditions prevail, though the monsoon is yet to make its onset over the region, however, it is likely to happen in the next few days.
“There is a possibility of some scattered rain on the Amarnath routes, however, the overall weather is going to be feasible for the pilgrims,” Lotus added.
On Thursday, at least 5522 pilgrims left from Jammu base camp this morning for the pilgrimage. Out of them, 2520 pilgrims were sent via Baltal route and 3002 pilgrims were sent through Pahalgam route. Till Wednesday evening at least 33694 pilgrims had paid their obeisance at the cave.
Lotus also said this weekend, starting from July 6 to 7, there is a possibility of rain spell at scattered places in Kashmir division.