A sudden dip in minimum temperatures had Ranchi residents diving under the blanket on a Sunday the capital recorded 6.5°C, the coldest day of the season so far, as neighbouring Kanke inched towards the zero mark with a bone chilling reading of 2.2°C.
Elsewhere in the state, night temperatures plummeted by three to four notches below normal, as the Patna Meteorological Office issued moderate cold wave condition warnings for Jharkhand.
Kanke block held on to its position as the coldest place in the state with a minimum of 2.2°C, a slide of a degree from Saturday’s 3.3°C. Barely 10km away from the capital, Kanke had touched freezing point in 2010.
Ranchi’s 6.5°C was three degrees below normal. On Saturday, the capital had clocked 7.8°C. The suburbs of the capital did not escape the cold onslaught either, shivering in 6 to 7°C.
Around Jharkhand, most towns recorded sub-10 chill. Minimum temperatures in Daltonganj, otherwise known as the heat chamber of the state, plunged to a numbing 8.7°C, four notches below normal. On Saturday, the Palamau town was a slightly more bearable 7.1°C.
Minimum temperatures in Jamshedpur and its surrounding areas also nose dived. The steel city on Sunday recorded the season’s lowest temperature with the minimum plummeting to 9°C, three degrees below normal. On Saturday, the local observatory in Jamshedpur had recorded a minimum of 9.7°C.
Night temperatures fell below 9°C in several districts including Dhanbad, Bokaro, Koderma, Hazaribagh, Khunti, West Singhbhum and Simdega.
The maximum temperatures also dropped in most places — remaining between 20 and 24°C, a fall of at least four degrees below normal, making the day chilly as well.
Weathermen said the dry and crisp north-westerly wind which is dominating over the state for the past two days had resulted in the abrupt Celsius slide.
“We have issued warnings for moderate cold wave conditions over Jharkhand in the next 24 hours as the minimum reading at several places was three degrees below normal. Relatively dry weather will prevail over the state in the next few days as we don’t see any signs of atmospheric circulations. This will result in a further drop in night temperatures,” explained Ashish Kumar Sen, director of the Patna Meteorological Office.
According to him, if the minimum temperature falls five notches below average normal, the weather department treats it as a cold wave. He said such condition might prevail later in the week.
This was for the first time this winter that the Met department had issued a cold wave alert over Jharkhand. In 2010, cold wave conditions in Jharkhand had lasted for three weeks at a stretch, a first time in 15 years phenomenon.
Notably, both the Patna Meteorological Office and the Regional Meteorological Centre at Alipore in Calcutta had on Friday predicted that cold in Jharkhand would increase as the north-westerly current, which had become weak due to the impact of a cyclonic circulation over north-west Bay of Bengal, had gained momentum due to favourable conditions.
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