The weather playing a reversal in season with warmer days ahead of the ‘Lohri’ has belied all the hope breaking the continuing dry spell the region has been facing. Generally it is believed that the impact of winter starts receding after ‘Lohri’ but it looks the process has already begun and it looks all the bonhomie and lighting of bonfire to mark the chilly season will hardly have any significance effect if the climate remains warmer. Except the initial cold wave the region has not faced the impact of the cold which normally at this time of the year one faces. No doubt night temperature has dropped to a record low but hardly there is any rain cloud in the sky. Farmers would be most worried lot because of no rain or moisture with concern over low yield due to the dry weather and temperatures running high. A brief spell of cold did come but then again temperature shot up. High temperatures can affect the tillering process and if the weather turns suitable, it could compensate any yield loss also. But the prospects have brightened with foggy conditions at ground level which may give the much needed moisture to the ground. The continuing dry spell threatens wheat harvest. The much expected rains have remained away with minimum temperature hovering above the normal except at night when it dips to the minus level. Dry spell is a concern for farmers and if continues it would enlarge the fear of a summer drought with water bodies receiving no rain and snow at upper reaches of Himalayas. Kashmir Valley is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai-Kalan’ – the 40-day harshest winter period. The chances of snowfall are maximum and most frequent during this period. Though ‘Chillai-Kalan’ would end on January 31, the winter continues after that and a prolonged and delayed winter it looks is going to remain this year. Will there be rain so that the spirit of the traditional festival gets going?
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