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Like monsoon in winter
Cold lingers amid wet spell

Jharkhand’s wettest February in three years has not allowed winter to bid goodbye and on Sunday, it felt more like monsoon as rains lashed large parts of the state for the third day in a row, dragging down day temperatures.

Rain was reported from Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Daltonganj and several other places in the last 24 hours due to the impact of a western disturbance, which triggered a low pressure trough over Jharkhand.

Capital Ranchi received 23.9mm of rain while Daltonganj recorded 15.6mm. The local meteorological office in Jamshedpur noted 9.2mm, while neighbouring Seraikela soaked in 14.2mm. Chaibasa in West Singhbhum received 11.5mm of rain.

Several districts including Latehar, Chatra, Garhwa, Khunti, Koderma and Simdega experienced light showers amounting to around 8mm, while Jamtara, Hazaribagh, Godda and Pakur had to be content with less than 6mm rain during the last 24 hours.

According to Met data, this was the wettest February in last three years with Ranchi receiving over 25mm rain this month alone. On February 8, due to the impact of another western disturbance, the state capital had experienced 2.4mm of rain.

Similarly, Jamshedpur so far in February has recorded around 12mm of rain while Daltonganj recorded 18.5mm.

In February 2012, the rainfall quotient in the capital and the steel city had been as low as 2-4mm. In 2011 and 2010 too, the local observatories in Ranchi and Jamshedpur had recorded below 10mm of rain.

Weathermen attributed the last three days of rain to a low pressure trough which formed due to a western disturbance. “More than 70 per cent of Jharkhand has experienced rain during the last 24 hours owing to the impact of the low pressure trough, which is causing heavy incursion of moisture into the atmosphere,” said Ashish Kumar Sen, director of Patna Meteorological Office.

He, however, added that the trough was gradually weakening, which would also result in clear skies.

According to the Met official, the two western disturbances, which resulted in unseasonal rain twice in the past week, had held back the winter. “Minimum temperatures would again fall once the cloud cover dissipates,” Sen said.

The Patna Meteorological Office in its short-term forecast predicted rain accompanied with thunder at a few isolated pockets over Jharkhand.

Due to the adverse weather condition, the night temperatures surged in most parts of the state. Weathermen said night temperatures registered 3-4 notches rise above average normal during the past couple of days.

On the other hand, showers accompanied by wind blowing at a speed of 5-6km per hour had resulted in an unusual plunge in day temperatures.

Jamshedpur on Sunday recorded a maximum of 19.5°C against Saturday’s 24.6°C, 10 notches below normal. The local weather office in Ranchi recorded a maximum of 18.4°C, eight notches below normal. On Saturday, Ranchi was warmer at 20.6°C.

In Ranchi, the sudden dip in temperatures coupled with rain forced people to stay indoors. Roads remained empty and popular Sunday haunts like Nakshatra Van, Rock Garden and Sidhu Kanhu Park looked deserted.

“The number of visitors is in thousands and more on any given holiday. But very few came today. Even those who came did not stay for long because of the bad weather,” said a security staff of Rock Garden.

Adding to the misery in the capital was erratic power supply in many areas. However, the bad weather had no impact on scheduled flights at Birsa Munda Airport. “Visibility is moderate. All the flights arrived and departed on scheduled time,” said an airport official.