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Snowfall and Heavy Rainfall in Northwest India Threaten Crop Damage

An approaching potent Western Disturbance (WD) is set to bring heavy snowfall to mountainous regions and intense rainfall across plains in India’s Northwestern area over the next five days. Concerns arise among experts regarding potential damage to wheat crops due to the sharp drop in nighttime temperatures following the WD’s passage. Last week, this system already caused substantial snowfall in mountain peaks and unseasonal rainfall in Central and Eastern India, accompanied by hailstorms.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued alerts to state governments, including Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh, urging them to take precautionary measures. As snow covers mountainous states like Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand, plains are expected to experience heavy rainfall, thunderstorms, lightning, and gusty winds.

The IMD’s agro-meteorological advisories recommend early harvesting of mature crops like wheat, jowar, and mustard in North Rajasthan and protective measures like hail nets for fruit orchards in North Madhya Maharashtra. Additionally, preparations to drain excess water from fields and provide mechanical support to horticultural crops are advised in various states. The WD, currently located over Northeast Iran, is expected to impact the Western Himalayan Region from February 29 and Northwestern Indian plains from March 1–3, with peak intensity on March 2–3. Alongside crop damage concerns, disruptions in electricity, landslides, and traffic flow are anticipated.

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