PICS: Kashmir’s Rare Snowless Winter

Auqib Javeed writes on BBC website: This year, things are different: the snow-clad mountains in the region are oddly brown and barren…”This is unprecedented,” says Manzoor Ahmad, 50, who for 17 years has been managing a hotel in Gulmarg, a picturesque town in Indian-administered Kashmir…

Visitors walk along ski slopes usually covered in snow at this time of the year in Gulmarg (AFP/BBC)

Environmentalists say that climate change has been impacting the region, causing extreme weather events and prolonged dry spells in both winter and summer. Jammu and Kashmir’s weather department recorded a 79% rainfall deficit in December and a 100% deficit in January…

The valley is also experiencing warmer weather, with most stations in Kashmir recording a 6-8C (43-48F) rise in temperature this winter…

“We are equally hit by lack of winter rains and snow. The effect will start appearing after March.”

A Pakistani observer tells
Otherwise covered with a white carpet of snow, the mountains are brown this winter (BBC)

Raj Kumar, a resident of the western state of Maharashtra who visited Kashmir with his family for the first time, says that they were crestfallen. “We came here to witness snowfall and go on a cable car ride…but we were disappointed to see a snowless Gulmarg,” he says.

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