Untimely showers dip mercury, damage crop

April 5th, 2008 - 10:23 pm ICT by admin  

(All India weather report)

New Delhi, April 5 (IANS) Most parts of north and northeastern India received rain Saturday as millions welcomed the dip in temperatures. But farmers are wishing the skies clear up as the sudden thunderstorms and rain have battered the standing crop. The national capital also saw its share of wet weather with nearly 22 mm of rain recorded in the 24 hours to Saturday evening. The maximum temperature was around 30 degrees Celsius, nearly three degrees below normal. The day’s low was at a comfortable 18 degrees.

The Met Office in its bulletin said northern plains saw temperatures 6-8 degrees below normal.

Most parts of Punjab and Haryana experienced widespread rainfall. Met officials said rainfall occurred over Chandigarh, Ambala, Hissar, Karnal, Rohtak, Bhiwani, Narnaul, Panchkula and Kalka (all in Haryana) and Amritsar, Hoshiarpur, Ludhiana, Patiala, Mukerian, Ropar and Mohali (all in Punjab).

Experts fear that if the rains continue for another day or two, the farmers will be hit really hard as their standing rabi, or winter crops, would be damaged, aggravating the food crisis.

“Untimely rains are a major concern. Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh are the major producers of wheat. There are reports of rains in Rajasthan, where the untimely frost completely ruined the edible oil crop,” an official in the agriculture ministry told IANS.

Agriculturist Bhagwant Singh of Zirakpur, Punjab, said: “If strong winds accompany rains, the crop will be devastated and all expectations of a bumper crop this year will be jolted.”

Though harvesting has begun in parts of both states, major harvesting will commence only after the Baisakhi festival April 13.

Punjab’s agriculture director B.S. Sidhu too said that no reports of extensive damage to crops had been received so far.

Heavy rains in parts of Orissa during the past 24 hours threw life out of gear. According to unconfirmed reports, at least seven people died Friday in separate lightning strikes across the state.

Among places reporting heavy rainfall Saturday were Alipingal (12 cm) and Paradeep (8 cm) — both in the coastal district of Jagatsinghpur, an official of the Bhubaneswar meteorological office told IANS.

Elsewhere, Godari in the southern district of Rayagada received 9 cm of rain while the coastal town of Puri had 7 cm, he said.

The heavy downpour resulted in water logging affecting vehicular movement. State government offices in rain-hit regions reported thin attendances.

Himachal Pradesh remained in the grip of a cold wave with more rain while the higher reaches of the state witnessed snowfall.

Shimla saw rain accompanied by strong cold winds dipping the minimum temperature to 7.4 degrees Celsius while the maximum temperature was 11.7 degrees.

The unseasonal rain and hail has apple farmers worried as the trees are in full bloom. The upper reaches of the tribal belt of Lahaul & Spiti and Kinnaur witnessed light to moderate snowfall, further intensifying the cold across the hill state.

The weather office has forecast that the western disturbance, responsible for this sudden down pour, may move away from the region by Monday and the temperatures may increase from Sunday.

The following were the maximum and minimum temperatures and rainfall in major cities for the 24 hours till Saturday morning, with figures in brackets denoting deviations from the average.

CityMaximum Temperature Minimum Temperature Rainfall
(C) (C) (mm)

New Delhi 30.5 (-3) 17.0 (-1) 22.0

Mumbai 31.0 (-2) 21.4 (-1) Nil

Chennai 33.3 (+1) 27.3 (+2) Nil

Kolkata 24.7 (-11) 21.9 (-2) 8.9

Ahmedabad 33.9 (-4) 18.2 (-3) 7.4

Bangalore 27.7 (-5) 20.3 (0) 1.8

Bhopal 34.4 (-2) 16.8 (-2) 1.8

Bhubaneswar 31.0 (-5) 19.5 (-5) 42.6

Chandigarh 27.0 (-5) 16.0 (-1) 4.2

Dehradun 21.0 (-9) 15.5 (0) Nil

Goa 32.1 (0) 20.8 (-3) Nil

Guwahati 28.3 (-3) 20.2 (+1) Nil

Hyderabad 35.1 (-1) 24.0 (+2) Nil

Jaipur 29.2 (-5) 13.6 (-5) 1.3

Lucknow 3.4 (-3) 16.8 (-1) Nil

Nagpur 36.8 (-2) 20.2 (-2) 2.2

Patna 31.4 (-5) 20.4 (0) Nil

Pune 33.2 (-4) 18.1 (0) Nil

Srinagar 19.2 (-3) 9.6 (+4) 1.9

Thiruvananthapuram 33.5 (+1) 24.3 (-1) 0.4

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