New Delhi, April 11: A spell of moderate rainfall is expected over the mountains and the plains of northwest India this weekend due to two back-to-back western disturbances and high moisture incursion from the Arabian Sea, the India Meteorological Department said on Thursday.

States and Union territories, including Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, and northwest Uttar Pradesh, could also experience thunderstorms, lightning strikes, hailstorms, and gusty winds between April 13 and 15. Monsoon in India: IMD Conducts Pre-Cyclone Exercise for April-June 2024.

"An intense western disturbance as a cyclonic circulation lies over west Iran in middle and upper tropospheric westerlies, and another one in middle tropospheric westerlies runs along longitude 72 degrees east to the north of latitude 32 degrees north. High moisture feeding from the Arabian Sea into northwest India is likely during April 13-15," the IMD said in a statement. Monsoon 2024: India Likely to Experience Normal Monsoon This Year, Says Skymet.

As a result, a light to moderate rainfall spell accompanied by thunderstorms, gusty winds, and hail is expected over northwest India during April 13-15, with peak intensity on the Saturday and Sunday, it said. The IMD warned of damage to plantations, horticulture, and standing crops due to strong winds, and injury to people and cattle in open places due to hail. The gusty winds could also cause partial damage to vulnerable structures, 'kutcha' houses/walls, and huts.

It suggested farmers in northwest India harvest the mature crops, fruits, and vegetables at the earliest and keep the harvested produce in safer places or cover the heaps of harvested produce in the fields with tarpaulin sheets. The Met office advised farmers of Jammu and Kashmir to make necessary arrangements for draining excess water from crop fields to avoid water stagnation.