Darjeeling, 27 January: Darjeeling town witnessed the season's first snowfall this morning after 14 February last year, though it was only half inch thick recorded at last line of snowfall, which reached up to the elevation of observatory hill (Dara), even Chowrasta could not accumulate Snow. Just a day before, the Republic day celebrated in warm and luminous climate in Darjeeling, mercury started dropping down since evening of 26 January, incessant rain during night hours could not accumulate enough snow in lower rows of Darjeeling town.
At Tiger hill, the snowfall started since last evening and the deposition was more than three inches.
At an altitude of more than 12000 feet, places like Sandhapu and Falut, the deposition was recorded more than 1 feet, reports said.
Cold waves with all around snow covered hills, Darjeeling and Kurseong towns experiencing under severe cold. However, situation in Darjeeling hills are absolutely normal.
Snowfall took everyone by surprise as the day before temperatures had been relatively high.
Snowfall in Darjeeling:
20 January 1997
1 January 2003
28 December 2003
19 January 2005 ( Only at Tiger Hill)
23 January 2005
14 February 2007
27 January 2008
Click image to Enlarge
(Updated on 28 January)
It’s snowy out there...
Statesman News Service
KURSEONG, Jan. 27: Amidst an intense political turmoil in the Darjeeling Hills, nature surprisingly offered its gift and relief in the form of snowfall and hailstone in several parts of the Hills last night.The snow began to fall around 9 p.m. last night and it continued for three to four hours. Several high altitude areas of Darjeeling Hills recorded heavy snowfall.
Very heavy snowfall was recorded at several high altitude areas of Darjeeling Hills, like in Jorebunglow, Ghoom and Tiger hill (a popular tourist spot of Darjeeling). In Jorebunglow and Ghoom, snowfall was three to four inches deep and in Tiger hill it was about 5 inches deep.
This time there is no report of snowfall, particularly in Darjeeling town as yet. But according to sources, there is a possibility of snowfall in Darjeeling town also within a few days.
Besides snowfall, several parts of Darjeeling Hills also witnessed heavy and thick hailstone fall last night, mainly in areas of Kurseong sub division, like in St Mary's hill, Tung and Dilaram. Hailstones and snowfall carpeted NH-55 which made it difficult for vehicles to ply.
Vehicles were seen stranded at several places on the highway and at several places, they skidded into the roadside drain. According to sources, it might take two to three days for the snow to melt completely. Despite the chill, tourists came out on the streets to enjoy snowfall by chasing each other, making snowman and hurling snowballs at each other.
A tourist, Mr Clive Daw Roleystone of Western Australia, who was enjoying the snowfal with his family at Batasia Loop in Darjeeling said that three days before he was in Kolkata alongwith his wife and daughter. They are amazed to see snowfall in Darjeeling. According to him snowfall has never occurred in Western Australia.
Snow keeps Darjeeling promise
- The morning after OUR CORRESPONDENT - The Telegraph
Darjeeling, Jan. 27: A sun-bathed morning when you could look up to catch a sight of the glistening Mt Kanchenjunga was followed by the winter’s first snowfall in Darjeeling last night, capping a perfect Republic Day in the hills.
It all began with a brief shower around five in the evening that brought down the temperature but no one had any inkling of the events to follow until the first snowflakes were reported from Tiger Hill, at 8,497ft, around 8.30pm.
By 10 at night, despite the temperature hovering between two and three degrees Celsius, the snowflakes were floating down on Darjeeling, at 7,001ft, bringing people out on to the streets.
Though the accompanying rain washed most parts of downtown Darjeeling clean, snow-chasers trekked uphill to the outskirts this morning to leave their footprints on the white carpet.
Places like Dali, Jalapahar, Ghoom, Jorebuglow and the Three Mile area were covered in four inches of snow till 11am.
“Unlike Valentine’s Day last year, we could not have a snow-fight at Chowrastha, but it was just a matter of travelling a couple of kilometres to the upper reaches of the town to find some snow,” said Samridhi Pandey, a student of Mount Hermon.
Call it coincidence, but over the past few years, snowfall in Darjeeling has mostly occurred on important days on the calendar. It snowed here on January 1 in 2003, January 23 (Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s birthday) in 2005, Valentine’s Day last year and Republic Day this time round (see chart).
“It was a pleasant surprise,” said Clive Daw, who has come to Darjeeling from Perth, Australia. “Back home it’s summer and very hot, but it was nice to see people here enjoy the snow.”
Daw will be here for a few more days. A number of tourists who were supposed to leave Darjeeling today have also decided to stay back.
The snow also prompted people from other areas of the hills to head for Darjeeling. “We couldn’t afford to miss this sight,” said Prabhat Gurung, a schoolteacher from Kalimpong who came here with his friends.
It also snowed in the upper reaches of Sonada, around 20km from Darjeeling. The temperature in certain parts of Sikkim, including Nathu-la and the areas above Chhnagu Lake, plummeted to below 0 degree Celsius today and was accompanied by snowfall.
Gangtok recorded a minimum temperature of three degrees Celsius. The upper ridges of the hills surrounding the capital were covered in about 2 inches of snow.
M. Das, an assistant meteorologist at the Gangtok Met office, said cyclonic circulations over Bangladesh (1.5-2.1km above sea-level) and eastern India (1.5km above sea-level) were responsible for the snow and the rain. The trough of the western disturbance at 900m above sea-level was another contributing factor, Das said.