Thursday, February 15, 2007

Snow in Darjeeling

Global warming has been creating undesirable weather patterns and climate changes in many parts of the world. Almost everywhere I travel, I hear of a new story from that part of the world. However, these changes can sometimes result in welcome side-effects. Here's an article in The Telegraph on an unusual Valentine's Day snowfall in Darjeeling:


Feb. 14: Had you been in Darjeeling on Valentine’s Day, you could have said it with snow. The last time you could have done so was 22 years ago, when V-Day’s favourite generation was yet to be born. The next time is anybody’s guess — tomorrow’s forecast does not look too bright. An unusual — but certainly not hot — love affair between a low-pressure zone and plummeting mercury delivered the first February snow in Darjeeling since 1985.

The low-pressure zone is aptly christened “western disturbance”, a term that many would like to use to describe Valentine’s Day, too.

The same dalliance also brought snow to Kathmandu for the first time since - hold your breath - 1944.

Darjeeling today woke up blanketed in four inches of stunning white overnight snow — the heaviest in recent times. Since 6 in the morning, delighted residents and tourists thronged Chowrasta, the town’s famed promenade, scooping up balls of snow and throwing them at each other.

The usual suspect — global warming — was on some lips as a temperature dip is one of its “expected consequences”. But a scientist cautioned that “to pinpoint such changes to global warming, we’ll need to establish an increase in frequency which will take several years of observation”.

Many holiday-makers in Darjeeling, stranded by disrupted travel schedules, happily extended their stay.

“This is such a big surprise that we have decided to stay on for two days more,” trilled Sunirmal Ghosh, a tourist from Calcutta. “How could we miss the snowfall? We decided to come despite the slippery roads,” added Subin Pradhan, an architect from Kalimpong.

2 comments:

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