Fresh westerly disturbance leaves country cold and wetWeather to start improving from today but will remain mostly cloudy, according to the weather office.
The latest westerly disturbance has brought adverse weather conditions, in the form of rainfall and snowfall, across the country.
The fresh westerlies, which originate in the Mediterranean region, entered Nepal on Wednesday evening through western Nepal and have since affected weather across the country, including the Kathmandu Valley.
According to the Meteorological Forecasting Division, the effect of the westerly disturbance has resulted in cloudy conditions throughout the country. The weather office also predicted light-to-moderate rain in many places across the country from Thursday evening onwards.
“The poor weather the country is experiencing is the effect of the westerly disturbance, which has now spread all across the country,” Ganga Nagarkoti, a meteorologist with the weather office, told the Post. “This is quite a strong westerly disturbance. On some occasions, it can pass the higher mountainous region without causing a serious effect.”
The westerly disturbance is an extra-tropical storm that originates in the Mediterranean and is known to bring winter rain and snow to the northwestern parts of the Indian subcontinent, in countries like India, Pakistan and Nepal.
Several places in the high mountains received light-to-moderate snowfall while a few places in the central and western high mountains witnessed heavy snowfall on Friday.
Weather conditions also deteriorated in the Kathmandu Valley, where rainfall started late Thursday evening.
Cloudy conditions, coupled with rainfall, snowfall and a drop in maximum temperature, have disrupted life across the country.
“Cloudy conditions have been there for the last two-three days. With the arrival of the westerly disturbance, it has only worsened. Even higher districts in the hilly region might receive snowfall,” said Nagarkoti. “Remote areas in the hilly and mountainous regions, which still depend on solar energy, might face disturbances in communication due to adverse weather.”
A few domestic flights were also affected on Friday morning because of the rainfall that continued throughout the day in Kathmandu.
Winter rain contributes nearly four percent to the rainfall the country receives in a year. However, this winter rain is significant for agriculture, according to meteorologists.
“This rain is crucial for winter crops. The first rain of the winter season provides much-needed water to crops in places with poor irrigation facilities,” said Nagarkoti.
The three-day forecast from the weather office has said that the weather will start to improve from Saturday.
“But it won’t improve completely. The mountainous region may still experience light-to-moderate snowfall,” said Nagarkoti. “But one never knows when the next disturbance might enter and cause rain and snowfall again.”
The Tarai region, which regularly experiences extended periods of dense fog in the winter season, is at present clear of fog and cold wave condition. However, once the westerly disturbance retracts, the region will once again see a drop in temperature and strong fog.
“Once the rainfall is over, the Tarai districts will again come under the grip of fog in the next few days,” said Nagarkoti.