First, the good news. The cold onslaught would be over by the weekend.
Now, the wrong’ un. The weekend is three days away. Till then, the biting cold will persist in the city and most parts of the state.
Ashish Sen, director, India Meteorological Department, Patna, said: “The wind chill condition is likely to continue till Thursday. The day cold condition would prevail till Friday. The cold wave condition would recede by Saturday. Thus, one can expect a relief from the extreme cold condition by this weekend.”
Till then, the nights would turn colder and the days warmer.
As the Sun came out for a brief period on Tuesday afternoon, the maximum temperature of the day was 10.2°C — twelve notches below normal but 0.5°C more than Monday. The minimum temperature was 5.1°C, four degrees below normal and one notch lower than that recorded on Monday.
Sen said: “As predicted earlier, the westerly winds have started lifting the high level of moisture from the troposphere and the Sun came out on Tuesday afternoon. But as the Sun appeared in the second half of the day, the earth’s surface was not heated much. Thus, there was not much surge in the day temperature. But if the heating continues, there will be a significant rise in the maximum temperature from Wednesday.”
The chilly westerly winds, however, threw life out of gear across the state on Tuesday. The temperature plummeted to 6.2ºC in Samastipur and 6.2ºC in Darbhanga.
“The chilly wind blowing at 7km an hour has made life extremely difficult for the residents in the northern region of the state,” said I.B. Pandey, the nodal officer of the meteorological department, Rajendra Agricultural University of Pusa, Samastipur.
The situation was almost similar in Muzaffarpur, where Tuesday’s minimum temperature was 3.5ºC. Chief medical officer Gyan Bhushan said nine persons from Sikandarpur, Jogia Math, Balughat and Atardah were admitted to hospitals after they fell ill because of the extreme weather condition.
In Champaran, night temperature is hovering between 4.5ºC and 5ºC over the past two days. According to reports reaching Motihari, two persons died in the past 48 hours.
Sources said two persons died in the past 24 hours in Bhagalpur, as the town and its surrounding areas continued to reel from the chill since the first week of January. The minimum temperature of the town on Tuesday was 4.5ºC. Birendar Kumar, a weather scientist of Bihar Agriculture University, Sabour, said: “A day cold wave is sweeping Bhagalpur from west to northeast and there is not sign of immediate relief. The residents have to wait for at least three more days for the temperature to rise,” he added.
The residents of Saran, Siwan and Gopalganj districts reeled from bone-chilling cold for the fourth successive day on Tuesday, the coldest day in the season when the minimum temperature dipped to 3.3ºC. A report from Chhapra said the cold spell has so far claimed four lives in Saran and 14 in Gopalganj.
The minimum temperature in Gaya on Tuesday was 2.9ºC, slightly higher than Monday’s 2.7ºC.
Turbulence prevailed in the operations of flight from Jai Prakash Narayan International Airport, Patna. The landing of flights started only after 6pm because of poor visibility. Jet Airways cancelled three of its flights and GoAir cancelled one.
Minor scuffles between fliers and some airlines’ employees were reported.