December 16, 2011 – Punjab, India Hit by Deep Freeze: A cold wave further intensified in Punjab and Haryana today with mercury dropping by up to five degrees below normal and fog engulfing several parts of the region.
Punjabi is a state in the northwest of the Republic of India, forming part of the larger Punjab region. The state is bordered by the Indian states of Himachal Pradesh to the east, Haryana to the south and southeast and Rajasthan to the southwest as well as the Pakistani province of Punjab to the west; it is also bounded to the north by Jammu and Kashmir. The state capital is Chandigarh. Major cities of Punjab include Mohali, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Amritsar, Bathinda, Patiala and Jalandhar. After the partition of India in 1947, the Punjab province of British India was divided between India and Pakistan. The Indian Punjab was divided in 1966 with the formation of the new states of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh as well as the current state of Punjab. Punjab is the only state in India with a majority Sikh population.
Amritsar, India remained the coldest place at 2.2 degrees Celsius (36 degrees Fahrenheit) and Chandigarh, India had a low of 5.4 degrees Celsius (41.7 Fahrenheit), dipping by 2 notches below normal. In Haryana (a State in Northern India), Hisar (the administrative headquarters of Hisar District) saw the sharpest decline in mercury at minus 5 degrees Celsius (41 F) and settled at 2.6 Celsius (36.7 F). Karnal and Ambala had a minimum of 5.2 Celsius (41.4 F) and 3.8 C (38.9 F) respectively. Ludhiana and Patiala recorded minimum temperature of 4.2 C (39.6 F) and 4.8 C (40.6 F) respectively. Although days will be sunny, foggy conditions will prevail in the morning and evening.
The intense cold wave sweeping most parts of Himachal Pradesh further tightened its grip as minimum temperatures hovered around the freezing point in several places in the state. Thick ground frost was seen at many places and towns along the banks of the Ravi, Beas and Sutlej rivers were enveloped by dense fog in the morning hours, hampering normal traffic. Nahan was the warmest with a low of 6.7 C (44.1 F), three points below normal. Keylong in Lahaul and Spiti district recorded minimum temperatures of minus 5 C (23 F), while it was minus 1.2 C (34.3 F) in Kalpa at Kinnaur. Solan recorded a minimum temperature of minus 1 C (30.3 F), followed by Manali at minus 0.8 C (30.6 F) and Bhuntar at zero C (32 F). All natural lakes, springs and a 40 kilometer (25 miles) stretch of the Chandrabhaga River located in high altitude tribal areas were frozen, drastically reducing the discharge of water to snow-fed Beas, Sutlej and Ravi rivers and their tributaries. The maximum day temperatures ranged between 11 C (51.8 F) and 25.8 C (78.4 F), two to four notches above normal.
Punjab, India is but one example of the weather gone “wacky.” Record highs and lows have been recently seen in the United States and other countries. The cause may be global warming or some other factor(s).
Personally, every time I hear the term “global warming” something deep inside says, “no way.” Significantly increased volcanic activity, I feel, will alter temperatures world-wide. Along with much colder weather will come strikingly drier conditions. This does not bode well for the worlds food supply. Food riots are just around the corner!
The Master of Disaster