| Visitors to Patna zoo cover themselves in woollens on Sunday. Picture by Ashok Sinha |
This Sunday failed to live up to its name as the sun remained hidden behind a cloud cover for the third consecutive day and the city went brrr in the last lap of winter.
The cloud cover also triggered day cold conditions.
Meteorologists claimed that the skies over the city would clear up only in the latter half of Monday. The forecast for moderate cold wave conditions over the next two days would not be encouraging for officer-goers and schoolchildren.
The inclement weather also forced most residents to remain indoors over the weekend. Popular hangout spots in the city, including Eco Park and Patna zoo, wore a deserted look. “Normally, around 5,000 people come down to the zoo on the weekends. However, the numbers have remained confined to a few hundred this time,” said an employee at the ticket counter at gate number 2 of Patna zoo.
Theatres, too, witnessed poor footfall. “Though we are screening several shows of Gunday and Hasee toh Phasee, the overall crowd count this weekend remained comparatively low. Bad weather might be one of the reasons for the low turnout,” said an executive of Regent Fun Cinemas.
Apart from the movie halls, eateries, too, were hit by the bad weather. “Normally, a lot of people come to our stalls on Sunday but that was not the scene today. The rain might have prevented people in eating out,” said Ramesh Kumar, a fast food seller at Mauryalok.
A western disturbance originating from Afghanistan-Pakistan had led to showers in Patna and other districts in the state over the past two days. Weathermen at the local Met office claimed that clouds had started to withdraw from the lower-level of atmosphere from Sunday.
“The withdrawal of clouds is expected to be over by Monday second half. As a result, the skies would remain hazy till afternoon. The minimum temperature would remain between 14ºC and 16°C tomorrow (Monday),” said Ashish Sen.
The departure of clouds would pave way for arrival of frosty north-westerly winds, which would lead to a sudden drop in the minimum temperature. “The dry and cold northwesterly would bring down the minimum temperature up to 6ºC or 8°C on Tuesday and Wednesday. The maximum temperature, on the other hand, is expected to be around 20-22 degrees Celsius during the two days,” said Sen.
Fog cover is expected in the morning hours over the next two days. The Met director has, however, ruled the possibility of wind-chill factor till Wednesday. A fresh western disturbance from the Jammu and Kashmir region is also on the radar around February 21. Western disturbance during winter bring rain to this part of the country.
If the upcoming western disturbance hits the state, the departure of winter would be delayed by another couple of days. As of now, weathermen have set the tentative date of around February 24 for winter to bid adieu.