The Telegraph
Saturday , January 4 , 2014
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Brrr! Brace for a weekend of windy chill

- North-westerly winds & plunging humidity levels to push minimum temperatures to 10°C

Bring your windcheaters and hoodies out as this season’s moody winter is gearing up for some serious action this weekend.

Weathermen have predicted chilly north-westerly winds and plunging relative humidity levels in the next 24 hours, pushing minimum temperatures to around 10°C or below.

On Friday too, the trends were evident as sharp gusts of the north-westerly walloped the state. Coupled with high-pressure gradient, the cold winds kept minimum temperatures low.

Ranchi clocked 9.2°C against Thursday’s 11.5°C, two degrees below normal. Jamshedpur shivered at 11.6°C, a notch below normal, and colder than Thursday’s 12°C. Daltonganj recorded 11.4°C, again a notch below normal. Night readings fell below 11°C in Chaibasa, Seraikela and Baharagora.

However, Kanke, on Ranchi outskirts, bagged the urban cold crown, clocking 7.5°C against Thursday’s 8.1°C.

Most Jharkhand districts sported clear sky on Friday, with early morning fog. The meteorological department predicted early morning fog over the next two days but ruled out cloud formation.

“Jharkhand is in the grip of a high-pressure belt, which has caused minimum readings to plunge. This weather condition is likely to continue for another 24 hours,” said B.K. Mandal, Ranchi Meteorological Centre director.

Mandal explained what the high-pressure belt was. “It is a system in which wind moves from a high-pressure zone to a low-pressure region, bringing down relative humidity, which, in turn, causes temperatures to drop,” he said.

Patna Meteorological Centre director A.K. Sen also affirmed the high-pressure belt was persisting in central India, impacting the weather of Jharkhand, Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar.

“Cold winds from the north will continue to blow till the time the high pressure belt persists. The north-westerly winds prevailing over Jharkhand will prompt night temperatures to dip by at least two degrees in the next 24 hours. The downward trend is likely to continue for the next two days,” Sen said.

Winter’s flip-flops are not over.

“Minimum temperatures will again see a slight rise after the next couple of days. Then, mercury will plunge again. Winter may be severe in the second week when the minimum temperatures will drop to 7°C or thereabouts in Ranchi and other districts perched on higher altitudes,” Sen said.