Western Disturbance threatens floods in north India, Pakistan

Damaging winds and intense downpours expected over India’s Northern Plains along with heavy snow on the hills.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) is expecting an intense wet spell over the country’s northwest and adjoining central areas as an active Western Disturbance moves out of Afghanistan and across northern Pakistan.

Warnings have been issued across the region and the severe weather is expected to last into the weekend.

The IMD has also forecast another Western Disturbance that will follow closely behind, around March 10, making it the third so far this month and 22nd of the year.

Western Disturbances are storms that originate over the Mediterranean region and which typically hit India in the winter, bringing rain and snow on the mountains.

Winds of 30-40 kilometres per hour (18-25 miles/h) are possible. There is likely to be some damage to trees and property, possibly leading to power cuts at times.

The Western Disturbance is currently over Afghanistan and Pakistan. The IMD is forecasting widespread rain and snow over the western Himalayan region until March 7 across the northwest of India. Moderate to heavy rainfall is likely over the Northern Plains, including New Delhi.

Temperatures have also been dropping as the system moved in. After highs of 25-30 degrees Celsius (77-86 degrees Fahrenheit) in the last few days, temperatures have fallen sharply.

Lahore recorded 27C (81F) on Wednesday but will struggle to reach 18C (64F) on Saturday. Warmer weather will return next week albeit briefly.

There were 10 Western Disturbances in January, nine in February and two in March so far. Usually, there are two to three Western Disturbances in January and February.

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