Powerful storm to bring flooding, heavy mountain snow to northern India, Pakistan at midweek

By Eric Leister, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
February 20, 2019, 12:02:54 PM EST

The recent period of stormy weather from India to Afghanistan will continue into Thursday as a potent storm brings widespread impacts to the region.

One of the strongest storms of the winter season will unleash torrential rainfall and heavy mountain snow on millions of people.

The storm will first struck Afghanistan and Pakistan on Tuesday night as rainfall spread from southwest to northeast.

India 2/20

As the storm encountered colder air, snow fell across central Afghanistan early Wednesday morning.

Snow will continue across central Afghanistan on Wednesday before tapering off Wednesday night.

Snow began in Kabul Tuesday night and will continue into Wednesday night before ending as some flurries on Thursday.

Total snowfall of 10-20 cm (4-8 inches) is expected with amounts over 30 cm (12 inches) north of the city.

Northern India will also be at risk for heavy snowfall and a heightened risk for avalanches. New snowfall of 30-60 cm (1-2 feet) is possible in Jammu and Kashmir, northern Himachal Pradesh and northern Uttarakhand by the end of the day on Thursday.

Farther south and west, heavy rainfall may spark flooding across southern Afghanistan and much of Pakistan, with the heaviest rainfall expected to end by Wednesday night.

Total rainfall of 12-50 mm (0.50-2.00 inches) is expected in Herat and Kandahar, Afghanistan; and Quetta, Multan, Lahore and Islamabad, Pakistan.

Similar rainfall is forecast across Punjab, far-northern Haryana and southern Uttarakhand in northern India.

These areas will be at risk for flash flooding along with an elevated risk for mudslides in areas of rugged terrain.

India Weather Center
Pakistan Weather Center
Interactive weather satellite

New Delhi was slammed by severe thunderstorms earlier this month; however, this storm system is expected to leave the city and surrounding National Capital Region largely unscathed.

A brief shower or two was seen across the National Captial Region on Wednesday and a few locations may see additional showers into Thursday, but most locations will remain dry.

A period of more tranquil weather is expected from northern India into Pakistan and much of Afghanistan late this week into early next week.

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