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Page:Provincial geographies of India (Volume 1).djvu/88

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CLIMATE

the third week of September the rains often cease quite suddenly, the end being usually proclaimed by a thunderstorm. Next morning one wakes to a new heaven and a new earth, a perfectly cloudless sky, and clean, crisp, cool air. This ideal weather lasts for the next three months. Even in December the days are made pleasant by bright sunshine, and the range of temperature is much less than in the plains. In the end of December or beginning of January the night thermometer often falls lower at Ambala and Rawalpindi than at Simla and Murree. After Christmas the weather becomes broken, and in January and February falls of snow occur. It is a disagreeable time, and English residents are glad to descend to the plains. In March also the weather is often unsettled. The really heavy falls of snow occur at levels much higher than Simla. These remarks apply mutatis mutandis to Dharmsala, Dalhousie, and Murree. Owing to its position right under a lofty mountain wall Dharmsala is a far wetter place than Simla. Murree gets its monsoon later, and the summer rainfall is a good deal lighter. In winter it has more snow, being nearer the source of origin of the storms. Himalayan valleys at an elevation of 5000 feet, such as the Vale of Kashmir, have a pleasant climate. The mean temperature of Srinagar (5255 feet) varies from 33 in January to 75 in July, when it is unpleasantly hot, and Europeans often move to Gulmarg. Kashmir has a heavy snowfall even in the Jhelam valley. Below 4000 feet, especially in confined river valleys the Himalayan climate is often disagreeably hot and stuffy.

Climate of the Plains.— The course of the seasons is the same in the plains. The jaded resident finds relief when the rains cease in the end of September. The days are still warm, but the skies are clear, the air