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Fog blackout bother for morning commuters

- Poor visibility affects flights, weather scientists forecast similar condition for 48 hours

Roshan Kumar had to turn on the headlight of his bike before kick-starting his day on a foggy Tuesday morning.

“The sky was almost clear yesterday (Monday). But on Tuesday morning, visibility was extremely poor because of the fog. I had to switch on the headlight of my bike, as I left house for college,” said Roshan, a resident of SK Nagar and student of Patna Commerce College.

The worst sufferers were children, who were seen huddled together as their buses carefully negotiated the turns through the dense fog cover. “I was shivering waiting for the bus at 7am. It’s difficult to go to school under such conditions,” said Aditi Jain, a Class XII student of St Joseph’s Convent High School.

Weather scientists said the thick cover of fog extended to the entire state and neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Odisha. The situation is likely to continue till Thursday.

Flight service was also affected because of the situation. No flight was allowed to land at Patna airport before 2.30pm. Air India’s flight AI-409, scheduled to reach Patna at 11.30am, had to be diverted to Calcutta because of the fog. The flight finally landed at Patna airport around 5.30pm and departed around 6.15pm. Similarly, IndiGo’s 6E-178 had to be diverted to Calcutta before landing at Patna after an hour’s delay. The flight operates on the Bombay-Delhi-Patna-Delhi-Chennai route and is scheduled to reach Patna at 1.55pm. Jet Airways’s 9W-727, which operates on the Delhi-Patna-Delhi route and scheduled to arrive at Patna airport at 12noon, was cancelled.

“An anti-cyclonic circulation or high pressure area developed over the Bay of Bengal has led to continuous flow of southerly winds over Bihar and neighbouring states like Bengal, Odisha and Jharkhand. The moist southerly wind, mixed with the prevailing dry westerly wind, leads to formation of dense fog,” said Ashish Sen, director (radar) of India Meteorological Department, Patna.

“Such a dense fog is formed when relative humidity in the air is 100 per cent and the atmosphere at the lower level is saturated with high moisture content. We think that the situation in the morning and evening hours would continue to be the same in the next 48 hours,” he added.