A man quenches his thirst at an improvised water kiosk in Sakchi, Jamshedpur, on a hot and dry Monday. (Bhola Prasad)
Scorching has become an understatement for Jharkhand, where the manic mercury is eyeing another leap over the next three days.
Weathermen, who on Monday issued heat wave warning for the next 72 hours, predict a maximum reading of 45°C in many places before precipitation drags down temperatures around the weekend.
“The weather chart analysis has ruled out possibility of rainfall over Jharkhand in the next 72 hours. The entire state is in the strong grip of north-westerly winds. In the absence of rainfall, day temperatures will rise by another two degrees in the next couple of days,” explained A.K. Sen, the director of Patna Meteorological Centre.
The Ranchi Meteorological Centre corroborated the Patna weather office. “There is no rainfall activity in sight. The heat wave conditions will force the maximum reading to touch 45°C in pockets of Jharkhand,” said a duty officer.
Both the Met centres have warned daily commuters of the Loo, the hot and dry afternoon wind that can trigger fatal heatstrokes in summer.
Experts at the Regional Meteorological Centre in Alipore, Calcutta, reiterated that in case the heat wave persisted in Jharkhand, the mercury could shoot up to 45°C in the next 48-hours.
The heat-cursed pockets include Jamshedpur, Dhanbad and Bokaro, besides districts of Santhal Pargana, where maximum temperatures soared to around 43°C on Monday.
Day readings also witnessed rise in capital Ranchi and many districts like Latehar, Gumla, Palamau and Koderma.
Weather statistics showed that last year too, similar weather conditions had prevailed during this time of the season. But, frequent bouts of Nor’wester rain had brought much relief. The maximum temperature had touched 45.5°C on May 19, 2013.
Statistics further show that last year, nine Nor’westers — both strong and low-intensity ones — had hit the state till May 18. This year, the count has been a dismal four so far.
Ranchi and Jamshedpur are among places that experienced the summer saviour storms in the first week of May this year after which the dry spell took over.
“It was like curfew outside this afternoon. The heat was so tormenting. I skipped my coaching class. I may have to reschedule my classes in the evening,” said Sweta Dutta, a resident of Sakchi in Jamshedpur.
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