The Telegraph
Thursday , December 6 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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10, 9... 7... chill countdown on

From jumpers to jackets, cardigans to cashmere, scarves to socks, coats to boots — stock up on everything you can to combat the winter of the decade.

The Patna Meteorological Office on Wednesday warned of a cold snap after 48 hours, with the Celsius plummeting to the 10°C mark and below in the first week of December — a phenomenon not seen in the state in 10 years.

Patna Met office director A.K Sen said the numbing north wind was expected to gain strength and make Jharkhand shiver from head to toe by this weekend.

“Moisture incursion into the atmosphere from the Bay of Bengal will completely stop in the next couple of days. This will add momentum to the north-westerly wind. The mercury will plunge and the chill will increase,” he added.

Temperatures across the state have already tumbled two to three degrees below the normal average, courtesy dry weather and favourable wind pattern. Data on Wednesday suggested that most places, including Ranchi, Jamshedpur and Daltonganj, were grappling with readings below normal.

Topping the chill chart is Jharkhand’s freezer Kanke, in Ranchi district, which recorded 7.3°C on Wednesday, a tad cosier than 6.1°C on Tuesday. Last year, the cold meter had clocked the freezing point in Kanke on January 12.

Capital Ranchi, however, upped its warmth quotient by more than a degree in the past 24 hours. The local weather office read a minimum of 11.4°C against 10°C on Tuesday. Met experts explained that the temperature had increased in the city because of high clouds triggered by local weather conditions.

Daltonganj and Jamshedpur recorded their season’s lowest temperatures on Wednesday, with minimum readings plummeting to 9°C and 10°C, respectively. Bokaro too recorded a night low of 10°C.

Most other districts flaunted crisp and clear skies, characteristic of winter. Humidity remained low, dragging down minimum readings further.

In adjoining Seraikela-Kharsawan and West Singhbhum districts, temperatures were two degrees below normal. Koderma, Chatra, Garhwa, Latehar, Palamau, Lohardaga and Simdega have also witnessed a downward trend in 24 hours.

“The chill will further intensify after 48 hours because of the strong flow of the dry north wind. Moisture-laden winds were so far obstructing its free flow. Chart analysis shows no possibility of atmospheric circulations in the next three-four days,” said a duty officer at the Regional Meteorological Centre in Calcutta.

The Met official also ruled out a change in the wind pattern in the next few days.

Statistics revealed that it is the first time in over 10 years that the minimum had plummeted to 10°C and below in the first week of December.

“The plunge takes place by only by December-end. In Kanke too, the minimum goes below 7°C in the last fortnight of December,” said A. Wadood, a weather scientist at Birsa Agriculture University.

It remains to be seen whether Kanke goes sub-zero later this month.

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