New Delhi, Feb. 5 -- Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh are likely to receive "heavy to very heavy snowfall" later this week, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Monday, issuing a red-category warning for civic agencies and people in affected areas to be cautious.

The warning is due to a new "intense western disturbance" approaching the region, the IMD said, referring to winds from over the Arabian Sea region that bring in moisture and cause rain and snow.

While snowfall in the upper Himalayan region in February and March is not uncommon, the influence of the western disturbances is unusually prolonged this time due to another factor: the Siberian High weather pattern - a collection of cold, dry air that acc...