Monsoon finally arrives in Himachal (Lead)

July 5th, 2012 - 7:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Shimla, July 5 (IANS) The delayed southwest monsoon finally reached Himachal Pradesh Thursday, bringing respite to the people. Showers lashed capital Shimla, Dharamsala, Manali and other towns, leading to a sharp fall in temperatures across the state.

Gaggal town recorded the highest rainfall of 152 mm.

“The southwest monsoon has arrived at various areas of the state and is advancing in other parts,” Manmohan Singh, director of the meteorological office, told IANS.

He said the conditions were favourable for further advance of the monsoon to neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana during the next two-three days.

Singh said the monsoon normally hits the state by June 27.

Last year it was well in time and reached here by June 24, but rainfall during the season was eight percent deficient.

Meanwhile, widespread rains caused a sharp fall in temperatures across the state with Gaggal town recording the highest rainfall of 152 mm in the state, the weather office said.

“The entire hill state witnessed moderate to heavy rainfall, bringing down temperatures by two-three degrees Celsius,” Singh said.

Shimla town recorded 66.6 mm of rain, while Dharamsala, Palampur, Manali and Kalpa towns saw rainfall respectively of 102 mm, 124 mm, 30.6 mm and 0.4 mm, according to Singh.

The weather office has warned of heavy rains in Mandi, Kangra, Shimla, Hamirpur, Bilaspur and Chamba districts in the next 48 hours.

Shimla recorded the maximum temperature of 25.1 degrees Celsius Thursday, while Manali and Kalpa in Kinnaur district, and Dharamsala saw the maximum temperatures reaching 22.4, 23.6 and 33.4 degrees Celsius, respectively.

With rains drenching the state, no major forest fire has been reported in the state in the last 24 hours, said Avtar Singh, chief conservator (forest protection and fire control).

This summer, the state saw forest fires destroying over 20,000 hectares of green wealth worth over Rs.2 crore. The majority of blazes were reported in pine forests, according to Avtar Singh.

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