|A young girl waits for her dish at an eatery at Patna Market and (above) youths
enjoy the pleasant weather at Gandhi Maidan on Thursday. Pictures by Ashok Sinha
This Durga Puja, the weather will be pleasant. The days will be bright. The nights will be cool.
Pandal-hoppers should keep warm clothes handy while venturing out at night, as dry westerly winds have started elbowing out the moist easterly winds. In daytime, moisturisers could come in handy because of the dryness in the air.
Forecasting a sunny puja, Ashish Sen, the director (radar) of India Meteorological Department (IMD), said: “The moist easterly winds prevalent during the monsoon season are now being replaced by dry westerly winds. As a result, there will be a gradual dip in the maximum and minimum temperatures. The maximum temperature in the city between October 21 (Saptami) and October 24 (Vijaya Dashami) is likely to be around 30°C. The minimum would hover around 20°C.”
Sen said: “In all probability, the days will be sunny. Possibility of rain on the puja days is remote. Early mornings would be cold as the temperature would be around 20°C. If the westerly winds progress rapidly over the state during the next few days, the morning temperature will dip below 19°C. The maximum humidity at 70 per cent would be within the comfort-level. The average wind speed would be three to four kilometres per hour. It can increase to seven to eight kilometres per hour, which is normal around this time of the year.”
The weathermen issued a caution, though. “The temperature after 10pm would be below 22°C, which would drop further to around 20°C in the early morning. People might feel slightly cold when outdoors between 10pm and 6am. Thus, revellers should put on light warm clothes, including headwear,” said Sen.
Revellers went gaga over the pleasant weather forecast for the puja. “I am delighted that we will be able to offer puja to Goddess Durga in comfortable conditions,” said Kundan Kumar, a resident of Rajiv Nagar.
A seasoned pandal-hopper said: “We will not huff and puff this puja, as the maximum temperature would be within 30°C. My friends and I visit at least 10 pandals a day. At times, it becomes a tiring exercise. But this time, we will have a gala time. However, I will carry a moisturiser to battle the dry weather and ask my buddies to do the same.”
Ready to venture out on Navami night, Bharat Kumar, a teacher, said: “I will ask my wife to carry a scarf and a short sleeve cardigan. I will sport a full sleeve shirt and put on a cap to dodge the nip in the air. But we will certainly gulp soft drinks and eat ice cream while pandal-hopping.”
The puja organisers also heaved a sigh or relief after hearing about the dry and bright weather during the festival.
“As there is no possibility of rain, everyone will celebrate the festival in true spirit. In other years, rain plays spoilsport during the puja. As a preventive measure, we have put a plastic cover over our pandal this year also,” said Sanjeev Kumar Toni, the president of Navyuvak Sangh Sri Durga Puja Samiti at Dakbungalow roundabout.