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Westerly sting to May scorcher

Patna, May 10: Worse is in store for residents being scalded by the hot westerly winds over the past few days. The mercury column is in the mood to head further north as this month progresses.

The head of the meteorological department in the city has claimed that heat wave conditions would be declared for central Bihar, including Patna, for a couple of days from Sunday.

The westerly winds have triggered a surge in the mercury column over the past two days, the maximum temperature zooming from 38C on Wednesday to 42.4C on Friday. Saturday was tortuous almost in the same way with the maximum temperature in the state capital reading 42.3C.

Pranav Kumar, who works in Pune, which is known for comparatively pleasant weather, is having a tough time braving the prevailing scorching weather in his hometown. I came to Patna on Wednesday for my elder brothers wedding which is being held today (Saturday). I have already got suntan in merely two days, as I have been mostly out shopping for the wedding. The afternoon air seems like coming from a hot blower. It is tough arranging for the wedding in such conditions, said Pranav.

Patna faced heat wave-like conditions on Saturday. If the maximum temperature continues to hover around 43C tomorrow (Sunday) as well, then we would declare a heat wave in the city, said Ashish Sen, director, India Meteorological Department (IMD), Patna.

Even Delhis infamous summer hasnt been able to keep pace with the Celsius in Patna. The maximum temperature in the national capital was recorded at 38.5C on Friday and the average maximum temperature forecast for the city over the next few days is around 37C. The average maximum temperature forecast for Patna, on the other hand, for the next five days is around 41C.

Shooting temperature conditions are being observed in other parts of the state as well. The maximum temperature in Gaya on Saturday was recorded at 40.5C, whereas Bhagalpur recorded 41C.

The westerly winds have gradually become stronger, especially in central Bihar, over the past two-three days. The dry westerly winds allow solar rays to directly penetrate the lower level of the atmosphere, leading to the rise in maximum temperature. The trend wont stop until there is a change in wind pattern or any new weather system develops in or around the region, explained Sen.

Worse, the Patna meteorological centre has forecast no possibility of Norwesters, the sudden thunderstorm in summer or cyclonic circulation that bring winds and rain. The moisture content is very low and we do not expect change in the wind direction from dry westerly to moist easterly at least in the next three to four days. Accordingly, the maximum temperature in Patna would continue hover around 41-43C.