A family finds warmth in woollens as the Celsius plummets across the state on Tuesday. Picture by Animesh Sengupta
A shivering Celsius on Tuesday prompted the Patna Meteorological Centre to issue a severe cold wave warning in Jharkhand, where minimum temperatures have nosedived half a dozen degrees below normal.
Both Ranchi and Daltonganj recorded their February lowest in five years. The mercury dipped more than two degrees in 24 hours in the capital, which went numb at 7.3°C, six notches below normal, on Tuesday.
The Palamau headquarters, otherwise known as a heat chamber, too recorded a night reading six degrees lower than normal at 7.1°C. On Monday, Daltonganj had felt warmer at 10.5°C.
The chill didn’t spare Jamshedpur either. The steel city scurried for woollen cover as the Celsius plunged from 13.6° to 10.6°C in 24 hours. Tuesday’s minimum was four notches below normal.
Chaibasa in West Singhbhum district grappled with sub-10 chill, with the night meter reading 9.2°C against Monday’s 12.5°C.
Districts like Koderma, Hazaribagh, Khunti, Ramgarh and Seraikela-Kharsawan also witnessed a temperature drop of two to three degrees in 24 hours. Dumka and Giridih had to brace for below nine.
Bokaro and Dhanbad were the oases with tad warmer climes. The minimum read 11.5°C in the steel city and 13.6°C in the coal town.
“A cold wave is sweeping through Jharkhand and causing minimum temperatures to plummet by five-six degrees. We have issued a severe cold wave alert in the state for the next 48 hours,” said A.K. Sen, the director of Patna Met office.
He added: “Clear sky and dominating dry westerly winds have made a comeback. The cyclonic circulation caused by a western disturbance, which had resulted in rain and clouds, has cleared. Minimum readings are low. The condition is expected to prevail for another two days.”
Senior weatherman in Ranchi L.K. Giri ruled out the possibility of rain or any atmospheric formation that might affect the bone-numbing weather. B.K. Mandal, the director of Ranchi Met office, said the cold wave had started from Monday and was likely to intensify in the next two days.
Analysts at the Regional Meteorological Centre in Calcutta too confirmed that the biting cold and westerly winds would continue for another 48 hours. “The chill has intensified because of the cold and dry westerlies,” said the duty officer.
He warned of a roller coaster Celsius ride ahead. “Minimum temperatures will gradually rise after 48 hours,” he added.
How are you battling the surprise chill?