In this article, You will read about the weather and climate of Jammu Kashmir (JK). At the end, you will also get to solve some top MCQs on the topic.
Jammu & Kashmir UT is situated in the sub-tropical region and there are a variety of factors that affect its weather and climate.
The climate of JK shows a lot of variations. While on one hand, Jammu division has mainly the tropical climate and at the same time, Kashmir division has the sub-tropical climate.
In Koppen’s system of classification;
- the hilly parts of Jammu Kashmir have Dfb type climate. Dfb climate means humid continental with severe and moist winter and short summers.
- the plain areas of Jammu Kashmir have Ca type climate. Ca climate means less most winter; long summers followed by moderated heavy rains in the month of July, August and September.
Dr. Arthur Neva says that the climate of J&K is quiet eminently suitable for
Factors Affecting Climate of Jammu Kashmir (JK)
There are a lot of factors that affect the climate of Jammu and Kashmir. They are discussed below:
JK UT has a lot of altitudinal variations.
Jammu plains have an average altitude of 327 m above the sea level, where as it is around 1850 m for Kashmir valley.
Since temperature decreases with increase in altitude, therefore southern and southwestern areas of JK UT experience hot summers and cool winters and the areas lying in east and north experience pleasant summers and harsh cold winters.
Remember, that the rate at which temperature falls with the increase in altitude is called lapse rate. Its value is 1oC per 165 metres or 6oC per kilometre.
Himalayas have a very significant role in the climatic confitions of JK UT.
They intercept the monsoon winds and cause them to shed rains in the UT.
In addition, they act as the natural barrier to the cold winds coming from Siberia and prevent them from entering the UT. This in turn keeps the UT relatively warmer in winters.
Remember, that mountains have a very significant role in rainfall. They compel the moisture bearing air masses to rise upwards and cause rain. Such an uplifting of air masses is called orogenic lifting.
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3. Location or Continentality
The distance from a very large water body like a sea has a very profound impact on the climate of a particular place.
The places in the vicinity of a sea experience moderating effect and have low temperature range and high humidity.
Since, JK UT is not in the vicinity of any sea, it does not experience any moderating effect and has a large range of temperatures.
Remember that water has high heat capacity which means that it takes a lot of time to heat up or cool down. This property of water (in large water bodies) affects the climate of the surrounding areas. It prevents the days from becoming very hot and the nights from becoming very cold. This is called the moderating effect of seas. You can witness it in Bengaluru.
4. Monsoon Winds and Western Disturbances
Monsoon winds largely affect Jammu division and Western disturbances largely affect the Kashmir division.
Monsoons arrive in Jammu in mid-June and cause a lot of precipitation there.
Western disturbances hit valley largely in winters and lead to heavy precipitation.
Remember that Western disturbance is the extra tropical cyclonic circulation of winds originating in Mediterranean sea, caspian sea and Black sea. They are a cause of adverse weather condition in North West India.
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Climate of Jammu Kashmir
Since the two divisions of the UT experience different climatic conditions, it is better to study the climatic conditions of the two parts separately.
Climate of Jammu Division
Jammu division comprises of two distinct climatic parts. They are;
- Parts lying to the south of Shiwaliks called the plains of Jammu.
- Parts lying over middle and greater Himalayas like Doda, Kishtwar, Rajouri etc, called the mountainous regions of Jammu.
In the plain and lower reaches of Himalayas, the temperature starts rising in the month of March.
The range of temperature is given below:
June is the hottest month at Jammu, recording a mean monthly temperature of about 31.65°C.
During Summer season;
- during night a cool wind descends in the Jammu region from Shiwaliks called Dadu.
- during days, a hot local wind blows. It is called Loo.
The months of July and August are the wettest at Jammu, recording an average monthly rainfall of about 275 and 250 mm respectively.
Climate of Kashmir Division
Some of the unique features of climate of Kashmir division are:
- Mild summers.
- harsh winters with snowfall and rainfall.
- pleasant spring
The factors that lead to the above climatic coditions are:
- High altitude of valley.
- arrival of western disturbances mainly in winter.
- vicinity of snow clad mountains.
Kashmir valley wintnesses a lot of precipitation, and on the basis of precipitation and temperature variations, there are four seasons in Kashmir valley. They are:
1. Winter Season
It lasts from November to February with January as the coldest month.
Chillai Kalan is the coldest part of winter. Chillai Kalan(Great cold) comprises of 40 days starting from 21st of December and end on 31st of January.
Chillai-Kalan is followed by a 20-day long Chillai-Khurd (small cold) that
occurs between January 31 and February 19 and a 10-day long Chillai-Bachha (baby cold) which is from February 20 to March 2.
The winters season witnesses around 120cm of snow and a relative humidity of around 90%.
It starts in March and ends in mid June and is locally called Sounth.
The temperature ranges from 10°C to 16°C, and March is the wettest month.
It is the season for planting trees.
It starts in June and ends in September.
July is the hottest month and rainfall received during this season is just around 6% of the total annual rainfall received by the area.
4. Autumn Season
It starts in mid September and ends in November.
Flowering of saffron is the striking
feature of this season.
Seasons In Local Parlance
Kashmiris have locally divided an year into 6 seasons. They are:
|Mid March – Mid May
|Mid May – Mid July
|Mid July – Mid September
|Mid September – Mid November
|Mid November – Mid January
|Mid January – Mid March
So, this was all about the climate of Jammu Kashmir. Share this article with your friends if you found it useful.