This Christmas, Santa Claus is likely to hit the town in fairly normal cold conditions.
The weathermen are of the view that no major dip in the mercury column is in sight over the next few days and the possibility of dense fog cover has also been ruled out.
However, the minimum temperature in the city is expected to touch the single-digit mark after Christmas.
It is hovering around 12 degrees Celsius at present.
Highlighting the expected weather during Christmas, Ashish Sen, director, India Meteorological Department (IMD), Patna, told The Telegraph on Sunday: “The minimum temperature is expected to be around 10 degrees Celsius and the maximum is likely to be around 22 degrees Celsius on Christmas. Moreover, hazy conditions would be observed in the morning and nights would be comparatively colder.”
Though the city has entered the peak winter season, observed between December 20 and January 10, residents should heave a sigh of relief as the state would remain untouched by a western disturbance that has led to snowfall at places like Srinagar and Shimla on Sunday.
Patna, on the other hand, witnessed hazy weather conditions on Sunday.
Explaining the reason behind the condition, Sen said: “The effect of the western disturbance would be till east Uttar Pradesh only. The reason behind hazy conditions observed in the city on Sunday is a change in the wind direction. The wind direction in Patna as on Saturday was northerly and north-easterly but it started changing to cold westerly from Sunday morning. This change in the wind direction is leading to moisture incursion in the middle level of atmosphere, which in turn would form hazy conditions over the next few days.”
Sen added that the city was unlikely to witness harsh winter phenomenon including “cold wave” and “day cold” conditions over the next few days.
Cold wave conditions are said to arrive at a place when the minimum temperature is recorded 5 degrees Celsius lower than the normal for more than two days at this time of the year.
The day cold condition is said to be prevailing in the atmosphere when the maximum temperature is around 8-10 degrees Celsius below the normal temperature, accompanied by thick fog cover.
Overall, the weather conditions being witnessed here during Christmas this year are warmer when compared to the same during the past two years. The minimum temperature was recorded at 7.1 degrees Celsius on Wednesday, which was 3 degrees Celsius lower than the normal.
The cold conditions were so bad last year that the district administration had ordered closure of schools from December 22 to January 1. There has been no such move by schools here so far this year.
The average minimum temperature for December in Patna is also 9.9 degrees Celsius.
Weathermen attributed the reason behind comparatively “warmer winter” this year to the frequent cyclones in the Bay of Bengal over the past few weeks.
“It is true that the temperature conditions are comparatively higher this year, which is due to the formation of four consecutive cyclones in the Bay of Bengal,” said Sen.
Meanwhile, normal life in the city is getting affected because of the nip in the air.
The closing time at Patna zoo has been reduced from 6pm to 5pm, and this shortened timing would be followed till March next year.
None of the flights are being allowed to land at the city airport before 11am due to poor visibility thanks to the fog.
The visibility criterion for landing an aircraft at Patna airport is 1,600 metres.
Extreme fog conditions had also affected timely running of trains in the past week. Many trains were held up for hours and were running late as a result.
Residents have also started feeling the chill factor.
“After my five-year-old daughter fell ill for around five days in the last week, I make her wear four layers of clothing nowadays. She wears an inner, a half-sleeve sweater, a shirt and a full-sleeve sweater on top of it. Thankfully, her Christmas vacation has started and she does not have to go out in the morning for school,” said Jaya Mishra, a resident of Ashiana Nagar.