Friday, 27 May 2016

Localized Weather in Himalayas

“Shall we go for a picnic?”

“What the weather report says?”

“The report says that it would be sunny through out the day with light shower towards the evening...”

Make no mistake. The weather report in the developed nations are very accurate to the hours. Even their prediction for the whole week would be more accurate than our forecast the next day.

Today, without any equipment, by looking at the sky I have predicted that it would be sunny as there were not a speck of clouds in the sky and the sun was shining bright from the horizon. With mountains on all the four directions, the view of the sky that was provided to me was not so vast. It was sort of a tunnel view. And with that information and self assessment I have taken a decision; decision to do my laundry and the official decision being the issue of ration. I do not believe the forecast broadcasted form the a national TV. For they are always right most of the time because it is either partly sunny, partly cloudy or chances of light shower. The vague information is of little use to many of us.

Suddenly, when I was in the process of issuing the ration, the sky became dark as it was covered with cloud laden with monsoon rain. When it rains here it just pours. It poured very heavily. The clothes that I have dried in the open may require to go through the spin cycle again. The rice which was heaped like a mountain in the open was barely saved from the onslaught of the shooting droplets from the cloud.

As I look back, the prediction of the weather would be very difficult in the mountainous regions in the Himalayas. Every pockets of the valley formed by the interlocking and unlocking of the spurs, there seems to be a localized weather conditions. Once we were playing archery and one of the site supervisors, during the ongoing construction of the cement plant which was just six kilometers away, called up and asked what were they doing right now. The reply was that they were not doing anything as it was raining very heavily. The site supervisor could not digest the reply as it was bright and sunny on the archery field. He went to check and to sort out the lying foreman on his bike and came back drenched. Such are the conditions of the localized weather.

On another instance, I was going to Paro from Gelephu on a scooter. It was raining heavily before I reached Tsirang. I put on my rain coat and continued the journey. The rain coat was of little use and I got drenched from head to toe. The rain stopped before I climbed towards Tsirang. As I reached Tsirang, proper, the road was dry and dusty. There was no sign of rain and it was a bright sunny day. The people were ogling at me because I was wet from head to toe and on top of that I was wearing rain coat on bright the sunny day. I had no time to explain my predicament, besides who was asking?

I guess that may be the reason why umbrella is called “Nindug” in the local language - something to do with the sun and not with the rain (Nim – sun, Charp - rain). The name 'nindug' would make it appropriate and less embarrassing to carry the umbrella even when there is no rain.

Good forecast or not if you are in the Himalayas, be prepared for the onslaught of rain even when there is no sign of it in the morning, especially during the monsoons.

In the mean time the rain is continuing here, when there was no sign of it in the morning. Will it stop? I better not predict the weather out here anymore.