Chandigarh, March 18
Forecasting that strong wind and hail may damage plantation, horticulture and standing crops, the weather department advised farmers on Saturday to postpone harvesting of crops in Punjab and Haryana as well as in some other parts of the country. The weatherman has also cautioned farmers to store their crops at safe places if already harvested,
With many parts of north India experiencing intermittent showers over the past 24 hours, which has brought down the temperatures, the weather department has also asked farmers to withhold irrigation to wheat to avoid water-logging.
According to a weather bulletin issued by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Saturday, scattered to fairly widespread light or moderate rainfall with thunderstorm, lightning and gusty winds are likely over the western Himalayan region and Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh & Delhi from March 18-20.
Some adjoining places in Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Rajasthan may also experience hailstorm, the IMD bulletin added. A prevailing western disturbance in cyclonic circulation in lower tropospheric levels has been cited as the reason for the prevailing weather.
Rain in the month of March so far has been less than the long period average in north-west India. While rainfall has been deficient by 82 percent and 74 percent in Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, respectively, it is below par by 8 percent in Punjab.
The month of February too was bleak. While the agrarian states of Punjab and Haryana remained virtually dry, with the deficiency being 99 percent, rains in the hill state of Himachal Pradesh were short by 71 percent.
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