The Telegraph
Monday , December 24 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Festive spirit to beat Xmas chill
Cold days are here to stay

This Christmas Day would be chilly. The maximum temperature could be 10 degrees below normal.

Weathermen predicted no major northward movement in the mercury column till December 25. To keep yourself warm on the D-day, keep woollens handy. Else, you might be down with cold after singing Christmas carols.

G.C. Debnath, director, regional meteorological centre, Calcutta, said: “The prevailing weather conditions would continue till December 25. The maximum temperature can be up to 10 degrees lower than the expected temperature.”

He said: “The weather in Patna is being affected by moist winds of a cyclonic circulation over Bangladesh as well as cold westerly and north-westerly winds blowing from the north India. The fog cover and the chilly wind blowing in the city are the impact of these two elements. The thick fog is restricting the solar rays from reaching the earth’s surface. As a result, the day temperature is remaining much below the expected temperature. The same fog cover is responsible for the marginal rise in the minimum temperature because it does not allow the radiation from the earth’s surface to rise to the upper layers of the atmosphere,” said Debnath.

Taking note of the cold weather, some people have already started cancelling their plans to celebrate the day outdoors. “I have decided against going to my office picnic on Christmas Day because it seems it would be extremely cold,” said a software engineer.

The prevailing extreme cold condition has started making an impact on the state capital. The district administration on Sunday ordered closure of all private and government schools till January 1. It would be a big relief for the students.

“My hands used to be almost numb by the time I reached my school the past couple of days. It used to be very difficult to write my examination paper in the first few minutes,” said Aditi, a Class XII student of St Joseph’s Convent High School.

The extreme cold condition seems to have dampened the spirit of cine-goers as well. “The opening of Dabangg 2 was highly impressive with the net collection for the first three days at our theatre being over Rs 10 lakh. But the cold weather seems to be affecting the footfall, as the morning and evening shows are registering 50 to 60 per cent occupancy as compared to over 80 per cent occupancy in the matinee shows,” said Abhishek Ranjan, the unit manager of Cinepolis, Patna.

The foggy weather had an adverse effect on the air traffic as well. On Sunday, the planes started landing at Jai Prakash Narayan International Airport from 2pm. The first aircraft to land was GoAir’s Mumbai-Patna-Ranchi-Mumbai flight (G8-385). Its scheduled arrival time here is 1.20pm. Several other morning flights were delayed by hours.

Air India’s Delhi-Patna-Delhi flight (AI 415/416) was cancelled. Its scheduled arrival time is 4.40pm. It is supposed to fly back to the national capital at 5.25pm.