Clouds as high as Mount Everest covered the skies over Patna on Thursday morning and brought relief to the citizens with a downpour.
The government has declared 33 out of 38 districts, including Patna, to be drought-hit. But on Thursday, the rain gods showered their benevolence on the city.
Around 11am, clouds, some of which were 6km to 8km high, blocked out the sun. The height of Mount Everest is 8,848m or 8.84km. Spread over 12-15km and hanging only around 500m above the city, the clouds brought down the temperature by a degree or two Celsius. Winds were blowing at a speed of 60kmph. Soon, there were loud claps of thunder and it started to rain.
Weathermen claimed that the thunderstorm on Thursday — and also on Wednesday afternoon (14.8mm) — was caused by the formation of cumulonimbus clouds. (See graphics)
Ashish Sen, director, India Meteorological Department, Patna, said the clouds had been formed because of a low pressure over the Bay of Bengal that would last till Saturday.
“The low pressure zone is expected to move towards the Odisha coast by Friday. But different places in south Bihar, including Patna, could experience isolated thundershowers like today (Thursday) till Saturday,” he said, adding that it could be a dry patch from Sunday onwards.
On Thursday, the rain gauge at Patna airport measured 10mm precipitation between 8.30am and 5.30pm. Images from Kalpana-1 satellite showed clouds over northwest Bihar around 7pm. The evening monsoon bulletin of the IMD also forecast rain and thundershowers over a few parts of Bihar during the next three days.
Some residents of the city were very happy with the downpour.
“The sultry weather at the beginning of the week was intolerable. But the downpour on Wednesday and Thursday has made the weather pleasant,” said Boring Road resident Ajay Kumar.
The maximum temperature was 34.4°C, two degrees above normal, on Monday. It went up to 35.5°C on Wednesday, three degrees above normal. But on Thursday, it came down to 32.5°C, which was normal.
Kumar said he hoped that the wet spell would continue for a few more days but not everyone was happy with the downpour as streets in different parts of the city — Patliputra, Gardanibagh, Lohanipur, Kankerbagh and Rajendra Nagar — went under water.
Patna has received deficit rainfall this year. Between June 1 and September 19, the city got 551mm rain against the normal 877mm — a deficiency of 37 per cent.
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