Severe weather conditions over western Himalayan region and north-western plains with very heavy rainfall and snow will prevail from February 3 to 6, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Friday, adding authorities in the hill states have been warned about transport disruption.
Though the intense weather activity is expected to benefit fruit crops, it may damage standing mustard crop and disrupt road traffic in the hill states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, the IMD Director General L S Rathod told reporters.
"There is possibility of extreme weather condition in the form of thunderstorm in plains of north-west India, with expectation of sporadic hail activity as well. The extent as well as amount of precipitation is likely to extend from north-west mountainous to the northern plain and even upto parts of Gujarat and West Madhya Pradesh," he said.
The temporary weather system is expected to begin on the evening of February 3 and could reach its peak two days later.
Asked about the areas which will experience change in weather, Rathod said, "On February 4 and 5 fairly widespread or even intense rain or snowfall activity is expected over Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. In the plains it is expected over North Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, Western Uttar Pradesh and plains of Uttarakhand including Delhi."
Warnings have been sent to road transport authorities in these areas. IMD Officials also said that the Jammu-Srinagar highway could be closed after the intense snowfall in the region.
On the impact over agriculture, he said it may cause harm to mustard crop.
"Rain is always good for agriculture. For principal crop in place--wheat--it is very good. For early or very early sown mustard, which is the second largest crop, if there is hail, then in a localised way there may be some damage," Rathod said.
Rathod said the unusual weather activity will be good particularly for apples, plum, peach, apricot and all types of horticulture crops specific to the north-west region.
J&K and other places in the Himalayan region could be hit by four to seven inches of snow each day. There could also be a threat of avalanche and landslide in the hilly areas after the heavy snowfall.
But, the good news could come in form of higher minimum temperature in plains and less foggy condition with increased visibility.
"With approach of Western Disturbances in next 48 hours the visibility will improve. From Feb 3 onwards there will be no fog for the period. When the system approaches slight warming takes place, so particularly night temperature will be fairly warm," he said.
Rathod further stated that frost or cold wave conditions for the year are over.
"February 7 onwards there will be fall in temperature. The good thing is that frost like situation for 2013 is over now. Extreme cold or cold wave conditions, which cause lot of damage to both plantation and field crop, is basically over now," he said.
Asked about impact on potato crop, he said, "It will be more or less good. But if water stagnates then potato being a tuber crop will be harmed."