A family braves the scorching heat in Sakchi on Thursday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
Blanch, next saute, then deep fry and, finally, serve up on sickbed.
That seems to be the evil intention of a wily weather, which has gone from blistering to hot-and-dry to sultry and back to blistering in a matter of days, and has vowed to torment Jharkhand for yet another 72 hours.
Both the IMD offices in Patna and Ranchi on Thursday announced “heat wave conditions” in the state as maximum temperatures in many places leaped five notches above normal.
Bokaro topped the heat chart with 45.3°C. It had recorded 44°C on Wednesday. Jamshedpur was a close second with its seasonal highest of 44.4°C, seven notches above normal, against 43.5°C barely 24 hours ago.
Statistics revealed that the reading was a five-year June high in the steel city and the Met office issued a “severe heat wave warning” for Jamshedpur and its adjoining areas like Chaibasa and Seraikela that also notched over 44°C. Dry winds or the Loo dominated most parts of Kolhan region.
The Celsius surge did not spare northern districts either. Deoghar burnt at 44.3°C and Dhanbad recorded 44.2°C. Maximum reading rose by a degree in both districts, which are under the grip of dry westerly winds.
Day temperatures, however, witnessed a drop in Ranchi and Daltonganj owing to frequent changes in wind pattern. The local weather office in the state capital recorded 39.4°C against 40.7°C on Wednesday. The Palamau headquarters felt a tad relieved at 43.6°C compared to 44.6°C a day ago. But still, Thursday’s maximum in Daltonganj was five notches above normal.
In the absence of monsoon rain, it would only get hotter and hotter, warned weathermen, playing down short-lived evening relief that might come in the form of local showers for the next two days.
“Day temperatures will not take a beating for another two-three days owing to the dominating westerly winds. Chart analysis shows that clouds may form over Jharkhand and there is also possibility of rain and thunderstorm in the evening, but the cooling effect won’t really last,” said A.K. Sen, the director of Patna Meteorological Centre.
Low relative humidity (RH) compounded the blow of the blistering sun. The RH plunged to 18 per cent in Jamshedpur and its adjoining areas on Thursday afternoon and hovered between 20 and 35 per cent in other places.
“Dry and hot winds are responsible for the discomfort. There is no moisture incursion. The maximum temperature will a rise in the next 24 hours,” said B.K. Mandal, the director of Ranchi weather office.
The Regional Meteorological Centre in Calcutta, which recorded a Nor’wester birth in Bankura district of Bengal on Thursday evening, also ruled out any respite for Jharkhand in 72 hours. “The weather will be stifling. Rain or storm may take place in hilly terrain,” a duty officer said.
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