GUWAHATI: Nagaland witnessed snowfall after a gap of many years as parts of the Northeast are in the grip of severe cold wave.
Snowfall occurred in Tuensang, Kiphire, Zunheboto, Phek, Kohima and Peren districts. Over the past three days, the temperature plummeted below 5 degree Celsius at some places of the region.
The situation is the worst in Kohima where the lowest temperature recorded this year was 3 degree Celsius. Back in 2011 and 2013, Kohima had recorded lowest temperatures of 2.6 and 2.1 degree Celsius respectively.
Nagaland is not used to experiencing snowfall. It was never recorded ever since a centre of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) was set up in the state.
“We have a centre in Nagaland that was set up some years ago. It never reported snowfall in the state,” scientist Sunit Das of the Regional Meteorological Centre, Guwahati, told this newspaper.
Some locals, however, said the state indeed witnessed snowfall on a few occasions but those occurred many years ago.
Das said during winter every year, the higher altitude areas of Arunachal Pradesh receive snowfall on a few occasions but in other parts of the region, snowfall is “quite rare”.
“The synoptic system responsible for this event may be attributed to a passing Western Disturbance as an upper air trough that was running through the region. Due to the presence of this system, cold northerly winds were seen penetrating into the lower levels of the atmosphere over the region,” he said.
The Western Disturbances are weather systems that originate over Caspian Sea and Black Sea region and moves east/northeast wards affecting the Indian region. Western Disturbances lead to rainfall, snowfall and fog.