The unprecedented snowfall and prolonged cold weather in the Himalayan region this winter was caused by global warming, a weather scientist in Almora said Monday. The trend will continue in the coming years as global weather patterns are changing rapidly, said Dr Sandeepan Mukherjee, a weather scientist at GB Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment and Sustainable Development based at Kosi in Almora.
"The erratic patterns of western disturbances, that cause rain and snowfall in winter months in the northern part of the globe, have become so due to the changing patterns of weather caused by global warming," he said. "It seems these erratic patterns will continue in the coming years with an increase in global warming," he added.
The first spell of rain and snowfall this winter was received in the Himalayan region on December 12 and the last was received as late as on March 13, residents of Munsiyari in Pithoragarh district said. "There were 24 spells of snowfall in Munsiyari between December 12 and March 13 this year which broke the record of 1972 when there were 15 snowfalls," Puran Pandey, a local said.
According to Mukherjee global warming is not only causing erratic patterns in western disturbances, but also causing uneven trends in the southwestern monsoon that is responsible for monsoon rain in India.
(With inputs from agencies.)