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Dry salt on scorcher scar

BAD HERE, WORSE ELSEWHERE

The city witnessed the hottest day of this year so far on Friday, recording a maximum temperature of 41°C amid dry wind.

May is still a week away, but the mercury scored a hat-trick of 40 in the past three days. On Wednesday, the maximum temperature was 40.2°C. The mercury touched the 40-mark on Thursday and surged to 41°C on Friday.

Streets wore a deserted look in the afternoon, as residents avoided venturing out unless it was an emergency because of the dry heat. Those had to go out in the heat can take heart from the residents of the cities in the neighbouring states, where the day was even hotter.

Shooting temperature conditions were observed in other parts of the state as well. Bhagalpur topped the maximum temperature chart in the state on Friday recording 41.8°C. Gaya was almost as hot as Patna with a maximum temperature of 41.3°C.

Brace for similar scorcher in the weekend as the Met department has predicted the maximum temperature would hover around 41-42°C over the next couple of days. Private weather agency Skymet has predicted the maximum temperature in the city might be as high as 43°C in the next week.

Weathermen attributed the Celsius surge to the dominating dry westerly winds in the region over the past three days.

“The dry air is allowing the solar rays to directly penetrate in the lower level of the atmosphere, leading to rise in the maximum temperature. The northward movement of the mercury column would stop only with the change in the wind direction,” said P.N. Chaudhary, meteorologist, India Meteorological Department (IMD), Patna.

High temperature conditions apart, the low level of relative humidity in the region is adding to the woes of residents.

The relative humidity is hovering around 15 to 25 per cent, much lower than the expected level at this time of the year.

Meteorologist R.K. Giri at IMD, Patna, seemed hopeful of rise in the moisture level and a slight plunge in the mercury column. He said easterly winds might blow in the region after two-three days. “The maximum temperature is expected to hover around 41-42° C over the next two to three days, but we are expecting it to come down thereafter as the moist easterly winds are expected to start blowing in the region. This would block the penetration of solar rays and bring a temporary relief from the dry heat conditions,” said Giri.

None of the weather scientists seemed hopeful of any Nor’wester in the next week. “The moisture level in the atmosphere — one of the pre-conditions for the advent of Nor’wester — is very low at present. The moist easterly winds expected to blow after two-three days is unlikely to bring such high level of moisture content, which can create conducive conditions for Nor’wester in the next one week,” said Giri.


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