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Cloud cover controls freeze
Citizens shelve holiday plans

Single-digit mercury has cast its chill spell on the city this weekend like never before this winter.

After the season’s lowest minimum temperature on Saturday (7.6 degrees Celsius), the minimum temperature on Sunday was recorded at 9.4 degrees Celsius. The Met office has claimed that minimum temperature would continue to hover around 9 degrees Celsius on Monday as well.

Citizens woke up to overcast conditions on the first Sunday of the New Year. Had the cloud cover not been thin by afternoon, then the city would have recorded the lowest maximum temperature for the season as well.

“The cloud cover started dispersing from around 12 noon leading to a rise in maximum temperature. Otherwise, considering the maximum temperature of 20.4 and 20.5 degrees Celsius on Saturday and Friday, respectively, we were expecting it to come below 20 degrees Celsius on Sunday. But departure of the cloud cover in the afternoon rose it up to 22.3 degrees Celsius,” said Ashish Sen, director, India Meteorological Department (IMD), Patna.

Though the day temperature did not fall drastically but normality continued to be affected because of a nip in the air on the second consecutive day. Most people preferred to remain indoors and many cancelled their weekend outing plan as well.

“Earlier, we had planned to go to Rajgir on Sunday but it was cancelled looking at the cloud cover in the morning and we decided to remain indoors. The heater remained switched on almost throughout the day and most of our family members remained under blankets. We had several cups of tea in the day and had mutton in the evening to keep ourselves warm,” said Neha Singh, a resident of Boring Road.

The winter blues seemed to have affected people of all age groups.

“Winter seems to be at its peak in the first week of 2014. We are not allowing children to play outdoors till late in the evening. While the senior citizens are complaining of body pain, the younger ones preferred to remain under wraps throughout the day. If not necessary then no one is preferring to go outdoors,” said Ajit Kumar, a resident of Boring Road.

Residents can expect moderately colder nights in the days to come but the Met office has ruled out the possibility of recurrence of cloud cover. “The cloud cover on Sunday over Bihar and Jharkhand had originated from the Arabian Sea. While moving over the landmass, it had crossed Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh before reaching Bihar. However, the cloud cover started dispersing in the region from the afternoon and the impact of its residual moisture content would be observed till Monday only,” said Sen.

Moderate fog or haze can be seen in the city on Monday morning due to residual moisture content.

“The minimum temperature is expected to be around 9 degrees Celsius on Monday but it is expected to show a slight rising trend over the next few days,” said Sen.

Residents should, however, heave a sigh of relief as the city is unlikely to witness harsh winter phenomenon, including cold wave and day cold conditions over the next few days. Sen also ruled out the possibility of wind chill conditions in the city as westerly wind is blowing at comparatively slower speed, 4 to 6kmph.

On the other hand, operations at the city airport continued to remain normal in spite of the cloud cover.

The first flight landed here around 1pm. The Airports Authority of India has recently reduced the minimum visibility requirement for flight operation from 1,600 metres to 1,200 metres.

Thick blanket of fog usually disrupts flight traffic movement at the airport like many others in the northern Indian states, including Delhi.

This time of the season usually witnesses cold northerly wind but this year the temperature graph is quite erratic in the city.