The Nor’wester didn’t keep its weekend word, raising the spectre of a harsh sun and booth discomfort when Ranchi, Jamshedpur and four other parliamentary constituencies go to polls on Thursday.
Weathermen on Sunday sounded a heat wave alert in isolated pockets as the mercury, which rose a couple of notches since last week, threatened to climb another few degrees in the next 48 hours. Reason: there is no gathering storm to block its march.
Dhanbad topped the heat chart on Sunday with 41.6°C, three notches above normal. The coal capital had recorded a maximum of 40°C a day ago.
Deoghar followed close on the heels with the local observatory reading 41.5°C, three points above normal. On Saturday, the temple town was a tad cooler at 39.5°C.
Heat chamber Daltonganj soared to 41.2°C from 40.2°C. The day reading in this Palamau headquarters was three degrees above normal.
Despite its altitude advantage, capital Ranchi too witnessed a Celsius soar. It recorded a maximum of 36.7°C against 35.2°C on Saturday.
Jamshedpur once again closed in on a fretful forty. Sunday’s maximum of 39.7°C was two notches above the average normal. The steel city had read 38.2°C some 24 hours ago.
Day temperatures also hovered around 40°C in Seraikela, Chaibasa, Hazaribagh and several other places.
Met officials attributed the Celsius climb to the dominating dry westerly winds. “The weather in Jharkhand will remain dry for the next 48 hours. There are chances of cloud formation at a few places close to the Bengal border,” said a duty officer at Patna Meteorological Centre.
He blamed an elusive Nor’wester for the degree distress.
Patna Met office director A.K. Sen agreed. “The state is in the grip of dry westerly winds that are and will push up maximum temperatures,” he confirmed.
Sen said day readings in Kolhan — which comprises two Lok Sabha seats of Jamshedpur and Singhbhum — and Santhal Pargana would kiss 40°C in the absence of any thunderstorm activity and rain.
Low relative humidity is likely to give the Ranchi seat some reprieve on polling day.
Residents elsewhere are already feeling the heat. The sale of air-coolers and ACs have peaked in Jamshedpur over the past few days. “We have ordered for fresh stocks. Business is brisk this summer,” said the owner of an electronics store in Bistupur.
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