Drought -- National Drought Mitigation Center


Date of this Version

June 1997


Published in Drought Network News Vol. 9, No. 2, Jun. 1997. Published by the International Drought Information Center and the National Drought Mitigation Center, School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska – Lincoln.


In our recent article on forecasting uncertain weather over temperate Kashmir (India) (Drought Network News, Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 12–14), we tried to characterize the crop-growing environments by giving long-term means of various agrometeorological parameters (such as air temperature, relative humidity, precipitation, and hours of bright sunshine). Forecast analysis for changes in temperature and precipitation events indicated an overall reliability of about 50%. Changes in minimum temperature could be forecasted relatively more accurately than changes in maximum temperature. Precipitation events were more uncertain during summer (May to October), which happens to be an important season from the standpoint of crop production.

The present article focuses on the variability of Kashmir weather and its possible impact on summer and winter crops of the region. Historical weather data has been analyzed on a “weekly/monthly mean” basis to depict the ranges between which they might have fluctuated. The analysis is based on calculation of standard deviations. Results of one such analysis are depicted in Figure 1, which shows substantial variability in all weather elements. With the exception of one or two months, the parameters of precipitation and weekly duration of sunshine are quite inconsistent. A similar graph (Figure 2) has been prepared on a weekly mean basis wherein the means of air temperature (maximum and minimum) and weekly totals of precipitation/sunshine hours are depicted. The phenological stages of some important crops have also been worked out.

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