The Telegraph
Sunday , January 5 , 2014
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Saturday chill shivers state

Patna, Jan. 4: Saturday morning was the coldest of this season as the minimum temperature for the day was recorded at 7.6 degrees Celsius.

The dip in mercury has been attributed to a western disturbance over Jammu and Kashmir. “The western disturbance is expected to cause dense fog on Sunday. Though the minimum temperature would remain around 8 degrees Celsius till Monday but it would show a slight rising trend for a couple of days over the next few days,” said an official at India Meteorological Department’s regional headquarters in Calcutta.

The minimum temperature is measured shortly before sunrise, when the mercury column stands at the lowest level for the 24 hours. It is to be noted here that the mean minimum temperature for January in Patna is 9.2 degrees Celsius.

As the minimum temperature is being measured below its average, residents are having a tough time braving the chilly conditions. “I am worried about my five-year-old daughter. Her school is going to reopen after Christmas and New Year vacation on Monday. She would need to go out in the chilly conditions at 7am,” said Anupama Mishra, a resident of Ashiana Nagar.

Residents can, however, heave a sigh of relief as the city is unlikely to witness harsh winter phenomenon, including cold wave and day cold conditions, over the next few days.

Cold wave conditions are described when the minimum temperature is recorded five degrees Celsius lower than the normal for more than two days at this time of the year. The day cold condition is said to be prevailing when the maximum temperature is around eight to 10 degrees Celsius below the normal temperature, accompanied by thick fog cover.

As the temperature continues to fall, health experts are cautioning the residents to take preventive measures. “People should take precautions to protect their body from the ill-effects of extreme low temperature conditions and special care should be provided to senior citizens and children,” said Dr Rajiv Ranjan Prasad, faculty member, physiology department, Patna Medical College and Hospital.

Though health issues can be a cause of concern but thanks to the recent relaxation in visibility criterion by Airports Authority of India, flight operations are being done smoothly at the city airport. On Saturday, the first flight landed at the airport around 12 noon instead of the 2pm usual landing time till last year.

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