Rain revelry: Boys lather up fun near Albert Ekka Chowk in Ranchi on Monday while girls share the glee under an umbrella on Main Road. Pictures by Prashant Mitra
June 2014 has proved to be the cruellest of its ilk in recent years, with the blazing sun spurring the Celsius and triggering relentless bouts of heat wave across the state.
Statistics reveal that several places, including Daltonganj, Deoghar, Ranchi, Jamshedpur and Bokaro, recorded their highest June temperatures in five years.
On June 7, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) observatory in Daltonganj registered 46.8°C, a maximum reading that was seven notches above normal and the highest since 2009. Deoghar recorded 46.4°C on the same day, which was also its new high of past five years.
Steel city Jamshedpur had boiled at 44.4°C on June 12, another five-year record. The reading was six notches above normal. Steel cousin Bokaro braved 45.3°C on June 12, its new high since 2009.
Ranchi, which enjoys altitude advantage being located around 650 metres above sea level, wasn’t spared this June jeopardy either. The maximum temperature read 40°C and above at a stretch from June 6. June 7 was the hottest day of the month in the capital in five years with the mercury shooting up to 41.4°C.
June 2013 had been comparatively pleasant, with maximum temperatures hovering between 30°C and 37°C in most parts of the state including the heat pockets.
In June 2012, the daytime high in heat-cursed Daltonganj, Bokaro and Jamshedpur stayed in the range of 40°C-43°C. In 2011, maximum readings stayed below 40°C in most districts. So it did in 2010.
In the absence of suitable weather systems like cyclonic circulations, low pressure or adequate number of Nor’westers this year, temperatures this June have remained high for more than a week now.
Heat wave conditions are still prevailing in Jamshedpur, Bokaro and Dhanbad, where maximum temperatures are above the 40-degree mark.
The silver lining is that the countdown to the southwest monsoon has begun. On Monday, Daltonganj experienced 10mm of pre-monsoon rain and Ranchi and Jamshedpur soaked in light showers.
“We are expecting the rains to hit Jharkhand by June 19. In Bihar, it is expected in the next 48 hours,” said A.K. Sen, the director of Patna Meteorological Centre.
The IMD office in Ranchi has predicted rain and thundershowers in isolated places in the next 24 hours. The forecast also indicates increase in rainfall activity after 24 hours.