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Climate of Jammu and Kashmir

Kashmir has erratic climatic conditions. All around the state of Jammu & Kashmir the climate changes along with various geographical conditions. Near the middle mountains winter is cold and lasts for a long time. The monsoon brings a lot of rain at this part of the region. In the higher mountain regions around the valley, there is often a snow fall. Summer in Kashmir is mild and much shorter than winter. Altogether the climate of Kashmir is either very chilling or pleasant through out the year.

In the valley of Kashmir, winter is chilling cold and lasts from November to March. There are strong wind, snowfall and rainfall during this period. Warmer weather starts in the middle of March and lasts till the end of July, but at this period of the year there is a lot of rain leading to landslides.

As the state of Jammu & Kashmir is dotted with lakes and waterways, the atmosphere becomes damp which covers the valley with a mist & fog.

The climate of J&K is just the opposite from the rest of India. While the mercury reaches the breaking point in the foothills in the summer time, people of Ladakh and Kashmir wait for the snow to melt for there daily normal use. From October onwards, Jammu becomes a much more pleasant destination. However, the best time to enjoy the beautiful valley of Kashmir and the adventures of Ladakh region is between the months of May and September.

Geographical Conditions
The state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) lies between 4 degrees of latitude from 32.17 to 36.58 North. Within these 640 kms. there is a sudden rise of altitude from 305 mtrs. to 6910 mtrs. above sea level. J&K, therefore, lies between the hot plains of the Jammu province and coldest dry desert-land of Ladakh. These territories are, as such, transitional in climate.

Weather conditions are different at different places. There are many causes of difference:

» Relief is the main factor. Lofty mountains like the Pirpanjal, the Zanskar and the Karakoram check winds from blowing in thus moisture is stopped from entering the valleys by the lofly mountains.

» The Monsoon winds in summer leads to rain in the Outer Plains and the Outer Hills. But these winds can cross the Pirpanjal range only when they are very strong. In winter winds from the Mediterranean cause snow and rain in the Valley of Kashmir. Snow falls on the mountains which enclose the valley.

» Forests influence winds, rainfall and temperature. The moisture laden winds cause rainfall in the forests on the hills making the temperature to fall in summer. Thus the climate of Pahalgam, Gulmarg etc. is comparatively milder than that of Srinagar or Sopore.

» Altitude is also a factor. So the climate of the valley of Kashmir is comparatively milder than that of the Outer Plain that lie on a very low altitude. The rainfall also varies as the altitude rises.

The Seasons in Jammu & Kashmir
The seasons are marked with sudden change and the year is divided into six seasons of two months each.
» Spring March 15 to May 15.
» Summer May 15 to July 15.
» Rainy Season July 15 to Sept. 15.
» Autumn Sept. 15 to Nov. 15.
» Winter Nov. 15 to Jan 15.
» Ice Cold Jan. 15 to March 15.
» From December 24 to March 8 temperature is often below zero. Strong winds blow from south and southeast. There is snowfall during winter and there are thick black clouds in the sky.

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