| Girls cover their faces in Patna on Saturday. Pictures by Ranjeet Kumar Dey |
Patna, April 12: Summer seems to be in a mood to tease. Days are becoming increasingly hotter while the nights have been unexpectedly cool.
The maximum temperature in Patna yesterday was 38°C, whereas the minimum stood at 17.5°C, five notches lower than the normal for the day. Today (Saturday), the minimum temperature took a leap of 1.5 notches and touched 19°C but it was still three notches lower than the normal.
Weathermen attributed the abnormally low minimum temperature condition to cold winds from the Mediterranean Sea. “It is unexpected to see cold north-westerly winds from Mediterranean Sea coming to this part of the country as late as the first and second weeks of April. The north-westerly winds kept the minimum temperature at comparatively lower level at many places right from Bihar to Bengal over the past two days,” said Ashish Sen, director, India Meteorological Department, Patna.
Residents might be enjoying the breeze in the night but the Celsius devil, however, seems to be on a steady surge during the daytime. Patna apart, shooting temperature conditions are also being observed in other parts of the state. Bhagalpur topped the maximum temperature chart in the state yesterday with the mercury column at 39.6°C. Gaya, on the other hand, was almost equally hot as Patna with the maximum temperature standing at 38.6°C.
The scorching conditions are giving a tough time to residents. “Fans are of no use nowadays. Air-conditioner is the only saviour. I don’t allow my daughter to play outside before 5pm. Thankfully, her school is now closed for the elections,” said Neha Singh, a resident of Jagdeo Path.
The Met director attributed the northward movement of the mercury column to continuous blow of westerly winds accompanied by a weak easterly current. “The dry westerly winds, which allow sunlight to directly penetrate the lower level of the atmosphere have been blowing in the region for three consecutive weeks. The moist easterly winds on the other hand, which can keep check the Celsius surge, started blowing in the region but it is still weak,” said Sen.
As a result of the irregular correlation between the easterly and westerly winds, the Met department has forecast that the maximum temperature would hover around 38-39°C, whereas the minimum would be around 20 to 22°C. The department had earlier forecast Nor’wester — the sudden thundershowers that act as summer coolers at this time of the year in northeast Bihar — during the weekend but the weather conditions are still not favourable.
“Though the inflow of moisture content from the Bay of Bengal has started in coastal Bengal area, it is still very low. Also, the flow of moist easterly winds has also been very weak,” added Sen.
The level of moisture content, an important prerequisite to Nor’wester in the region, is quite low at present. “The maximum moisture content in the air in the morning is around 50 per cent, whereas it dips to 25-30 per cent in the afternoon. Nor’wester thunderstorm activities cannot occur in such low moisture levels,” said Sen.