Stormy week­end likely to spoil har­vests

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Zia Haq ■ zia.haq@hin­dus­tan­

One swal­low doesn’t a sum­mer make. A spell of rain, hail and snow will bring bad and haz­ardous weather to many states, in­clud­ing parts of Maharashtra, this week­end, prompt­ing wor­ries that it could spoil har­vests, clog high­ways and trig­ger land­slides.

An in­tense “western dis­tur­bance”, or a squally weather pat­tern, is headed to­wards northwest In­dia from the Ira­nian coast and will take hold from Fri­day on­wards.

Storms could ruin ripen­ing win­ter crops, such as wheat, again this year. Most northwest states will get rain on March 11-13. Pre­dic­tions that hail­storms could hit farms in Pun­jab, Haryana, Chandi­garh, Delhi, Ra­jasthan and Ut­tar Pradesh have prompted the govern­ment to is­sue a farm alert.

Day­time tem­per­a­tures, which have been climb­ing steadily over many north­ern cities, will likely fall by 3-4°C be­tween March 12 and 14 and then rise again, an of­fi­cial said.

The weather could be se­vere enough in Jammu & Kash­mir, Hi­machal Pradesh and Ut­tarak­hand, prompt­ing a haz­ard warn­ing by the weather of­fice. Heavy rain could hit pock­ets in th­ese three states. “Land­slides or down­hill flood­ing are a po­ten­tial haz­ard th­ese states should watch out,” a fore­cast of­fi­cial said, re­quest­ing anonymity. Driv­ing in up­hill re­gions could be risky too, he said.


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