Bhubaneswar, March 1: The Celsius charts would have anyone believe that April is here even though we are just stepping into March.
With the mercury hovering around 37 degrees, the state capital has already earned the notoriety of being the hottest place in the state.
The temperature today dipped marginally to 36.5 degrees, which was the highest in the state along with Talcher. The hot spell will stay at least for the next four to five days, says the weatherman.
“One reason for the soaring mercury is hot winds blowing from central parts of the country towards Odisha. The situation is especially bad in Bhubaneswar because the built-up area of the city is constantly increasing and there is no mechanism to absorb solar rays,” said director of the Regional Meteorological Centre Sarat Chandra Sahu.
He said a clear sky coupled with low humidity levels was allowing the heat to penetrate the atmosphere and reach the earth with unusual harshness. “However, the cause of concern is a huge difference between day and night temperatures, ranging from 15 to 18 degrees. This desert-like phenomenon is a result of indiscriminate urbanisation,” said Sahu. He said planting trees and creating water bodies were imperative to keeping climate change in check.
While the likelihood of showers in the near future is as good as zero, Met officials have warned against too much exposure to the sun. Doctors recommend at least six to eight glasses of water every day to stay hydrated. People would also do well to slap on sunscreen lotion and carry umbrellas before stepping out.
The humidity level for the state capital is quite low at 46 per cent, which means no sweating. However, the dry heat blasting is causing much discomfort. “Walking to the school from the main road was exhausting. The searing heat made my head reel. One can well imagine how gruelling the summer will be,” said Titikshya Mohanty, a Class XII student of DAV School at Pokhariput, who wrote her first paper of the CBSE board exams today.
Like Titikshya, many other students emerging out of their schools and colleges after appearing for their exams were seen pouring water on their heads, covering their faces with handkerchiefs or rushing to the ice lolly handcart for cool treats.
“Kids are the worst sufferers. My son had to wait outside in the heat. I hope it doesn’t get any hotter than this, at least till their exams get over,” said Prabhas Mohanty, a parent.
But the question that everyone seems to be asking is, are we headed for a cruel summer? “We can at best predict the weather conditions for the next five days. However, keeping the scorching summer of the past couple of years in mind, my guess is as good as anybody else’s,” said Sahu.