The gale force of Phailin has set the mood for garam chai in Ranchi.
Residents, who until last week were seeking the cool comfort of fans, are scouring wardrobes for stoles, sweaters or at least full sleeves since Dashami as the peripheral effect of the cyclone dragged down the maximum temperature by seven notches to herald the possibility of an early winter this year.
The streets of the capital too are wearing their signature wintry look, with blanket vendors already occupying the pavement along Ranchi University. The Tibet market too has come to town with its colourful array of shawls and jackets. Normally, the winter marts open in November, when the nip is first felt in the air, and continue till the end of February.
“I have put up my blanket stall early this time because the cyclone has lowered temperatures considerably. Since Monday, business has been brisk too, thanks to Puja revellers from the city and suburbs,” said hawker Ram Bhajan.
According to weathermen, the city is currently under the grip of south-easterly winds and the pleasantly cold conditions are likely to prevail.
Winter in the Jharkhand capital is characterised by low maximum temperatures and little difference between the maximum and minimum readings. “Temperatures recorded in the past six days are clear indications that the season of shiver is not too far,” said J.S. Jojo, the in-charge of Ranchi weather office.
On October 11, when the IMD had announced advancement of Phailin, the day and night readings in Ranchi were around 30°C and 20°C, respectively. Within a span of four days, the maximum dropped by seven degrees and the minimum by one. Hence, on October 15, the day temperature stood at around 23°C and the night recorded 19°C.
Going by Met statistics, the maximum temperature is normally consistent between 28°C and 31°C in the capital in mid-October.
Meteorologists in Ranchi said that even if the day reading climbed to 28°C by the weekend, the night temperature would hover around 18°C, retaining the nip in the air. A spell of rain next week may further lower temperatures.
Weathermen at Patna Meteorological Centre too predicted more rainfall activity in Jharkhand, but said they expected the withdrawal of monsoon only after October 20.
Senior climate analyst B.N. Chaudhury said winter might tiptoe into Jharkhand in very late October and a complete onset could be expected by the first week of November.
“The wind pattern is still fluctuating, with the westerly dominating in most places. Winter is close, but not here yet,” he added.
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