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Cold wave to get cruel in 48 hours

If the nights are numbing, brace for worse.

Weathermen have warned of at least another two-degree drop in minimum temperatures across Jharkhand in the next 48 hours, predicting the 2010 freezing point rerun in Kanke, which recorded the season’s lowest of 1.1°C on Wednesday.

While cold winds from snow-battered Jammu and Kashmir, and Uttarakhand are making Jharkhand shiver from head to toe, three persons died on Hazaribagh’s foggy roads in the morning.The town also recorded its lowest temperature of 2.2°C.

Statistics from Patna Meteorological Office showed that the mercury in most parts of the state — from Koderma in the north to West Singhbhum in the south — had plummeted below the chilling 8°C mark, indicating harsher weather by the weekend.

Met office director A.K. Sen confirmed that snowfall in northern parts of the country had resulted in severe cold wave conditions in Jharkhand. “And, there is little respite in sight. The dominating crisp and dry north-westerly winds will drag down minimum readings by at least two degrees in 48 hours. The cold wave will continue to prevail in several pockets,” he said.

Both Jamshedpur and Daltonganj on Wednesday recorded their season’s lowest minimum. While Daltonganj, which has earned the sobriquet of heat chamber, witnessed jitters at 6°C, five points below normal, the steel city shivered at 8°C, four notches below its average normal.

Capital Ranchi saw its season’s second lowest night temperature, with the mercury plunging to 6.4°C against 6°C on Tuesday.

In the coal belt, while Bokaro shivered at 6.1°C, Dhanbad fought the chill at 7.8°C.

Khunti, Koderma, Deoghar, Latehar, Simdega, Seraikela-Kharsawan and West Singhbhum too witnessed a Celsius slide in the past 24 hours.

Places like Hazaribagh, Daltonganj, Koderma and Jamshedpur experienced early morning fog.

In Hazaribagh, the fog was so dense that it reduced visibility to an extent that triggered two fatal accidents.

Sujit Kumar Singh (32) and Vikas Kumar (26), who were on their way to Patna from Ramgarh on a bike, were hit by an unidentified vehicle near Circuit House on NH-33 around 5am.

Retired jail constable Jagdish Ram Mahto (65) was crushed by another vehicle on the same highway. Social worker Mohammad Khalid, who claimed his body, blamed low visibility for the accident.

Met data, meanwhile, also suggested abrupt fall in maximum temperatures at several places across the state.

Jamshedpur recorded 21.1°C against 24.5°C on Tuesday. The reading was five notches below normal.

In Ranchi, the maximum dropped by around six degrees — from 24.2°C on Tuesday to 18.4°C in 24 hours.

The Regional Meteorological Centre in Alipore reiterated that the conditions were favourable for a further plunge in minimum and maximum temperatures. “The entire state is in the strong grip of north-westerly winds, which will result in a free Celsius slide,” said G.C. Debnath, the director of the centre.

Debnath ruled out the possibility of a low-pressure hurdle in the next 48 hours and confirmed that the weather would remain dry in Jharkhand.

(With inputs from Vishvendu Jaipuriar in Hazaribagh)

Will Hazaribagh reach the freezing point too?

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