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Snowstorm hits parts of Nagaland for the first time in 37 years, India

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An unexpected snowstorm hit the state of Nagaland, India at the end of 2019, with some parts of the state experiencing their first snow in 37 years. Blizzard conditions were experienced in the town of Tokiye and villages of Zavame, Kizutsukeru, Konya, Phisame, and Dzuleke.

 "We have a center in Nagaland that was set up some years ago. It never reported snowfall in the state," said scientist Sunit Das of the Regional Meteorological Center, Guwahati.

"The synoptic system responsible for this event may be attributed to a passing Western Disturbance as an upper air trough that was running through the region. Due to the presence of this system, cold northerly winds were seen penetrating into the lower levels of the atmosphere over the region," he added.

At this point of the year, the average minimum temperature in Nagaland is 11 °C (51.8 °F) and maximum 26 °C (78 °F). However, during the last week of December 2019 up to the first days of January 2020, the temperatures dropped to 2 to 3 °C (35.6 to 37.4°F).

Some parts of the northeast region are also seeing extreme cold conditions. On December 30, 2019, Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh was the coldest city in the northeast at 2.9 °C (37.2 °F). It was the same condition for Imphal in Manipur, while Shillong experienced 5 °C (41 °F).

For Holidify, an Indian travel website, this is not actually a good sign. "If you think snow is a good sign, it actually isn't. For a state where temperatures in regions don't drop below 24 to 25 °C (75.2 to 77 °F), febricity is reaching seven to fifteen degrees showing us how massive the issue of climate change is," the website wrote.

"The concern is rampant not just in the North-Eastern state but all over India. With rains in some states and snowfall in the other, the matter is now turning into a radical subject. Where Rajasthan is experiencing snowfall and Delhi hitting extreme lows this season, we know the extreme temperatures aren't something to be happy about."

According to reports, the area is expected to remain dry for a couple of days, and there might be light to moderate rain in the next three days. People in remote areas of the Northeast have been advised to watch out for fog in the following days.

Featured image credit: Hillfoot Camp and homestay, Jakhama

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