Shillong: Meghalaya’s state capital Shillong on Wednesday was covered beautifully under a thick blanket of hailstone and possible snow flakes.
Photos shared on social media showed large areas of the city and its suburbs covered white. Many of the people in this mountainous state had only heard about snowfall in other mountainous states of the country.
“It was a showering of hailstone, but in some places in Upper Shillong we are yet to confirm if there was light snow fall. This weather condition is due to the trough in the Westerlies,” Rakesh Kumar, scientist at the Indian Meteorological department in Upper Shillong said.
“This kind of disturbances occur mostly in the higher reaches of the Himalayas and affect state’s like Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and others, but in some cases these disturbances move across Tibet and then come down south to the foothills of the Himalayas,” he explained.
The weather condition took most by surprise because such winter rainfall is rare, but what was more surprising was the heavy showering of hailstone and possible snowfall that covered the open spaces, streets and rooftops.
Traffic on the streets was thin owing to the weather condition.
However, Kumar said that since people have sent in their videos and pictures, the Met department would have to verify if the showering was hailstone or snow flake.
“We will be able to say by tomorrow if there was snowfall in some places, especially in the Upper Shillong area,” he added.
During winters, the state capital receives mostly frost during the morning with grass and rooftops covered with it, however, there are no records of snowfall in the state capital. “There are no records
of snowfall in this region,” Kumar said.
According to several people it was a light showering of snowfall as they didn’t hear the sound of hailstones dropping on the tin roof. One possible sign to confirm snowfall are trees covered in a white blanket as hailstone would not remain stuck on trees.
“This a rare event for the people of Shillong . I was surprised that I didn’t hear the showering of hailstones on our tin roof, but to my utter surprise I saw the road was covered white possibly it could be snowflake but climatologists can give us a correct answer,” senior citizen P.L. Nongbri said.
Due to the extreme weather conditions, the temperature dropped drastically and plummeted from 11.6 degree Celsius before the rainfall and hailstone, to 6 degree Celsius. This temperature
is at least 2 degrees below normal.