The chill is back.
Just when people had started thinking that the winter has not been severe in the city this time unlike in the US, the weather god had something different in store for them.
Wednesday morning in the city was the coldest morning of this season as the minimum temperature for the day was recorded at 7.3 degrees Celsius. The last record of lowest level in the mercury column was 7.6 degrees Celsius measured on Saturday morning.
Record dip in the temperature apart, Patna also witnessed the first foggy morning of the New Year on Wednesday with visibility dropping to less than 50 metres till 8.30am.
India Meteorological Department (IMD) headquarters in New Delhi forecast that rain or thundershowers can occur at isolated places in Bihar on Thursday. A warning has also been issued by the Met office against dense fog (visibility less than 200 metres) at isolated places in the state over the next three days.
Schoolchildren in the city and their parents can expect holidays on account of biting cold might get extended till the weekend. For, weathermen at the local Met office have echoed the forecast of dense morning fogs and further claimed that minimum temperature is expected to hover around 7-8 degrees Celsius in the city till Saturday.
The sudden revival of the cold weather has been attributed to a high-pressure area in Madhya Pradesh and a cyclonic circulation over Odisha. “It is due to the impact of the twin weather factors that Patna is expected to witness early morning fogs followed by thin layer of clouding till Sunday. However, the fog cover would last maximum till 10-11am,” said Ashish Sen, director, IMD-Patna.
Operations at the city airport were not much affected due to the early morning fog cover. The first flight on Wednesday landed here around 1pm, which is around the same time for flight arrivals being observed these days. Met office director Sen claimed that the minimum visibility criterion of 1,200 metres is expected to be met in the city by 10-11am till the weekend as well.
Residents in the city started feeling the chill since Tuesday morning due to high-speed dry westerly winds, which increased significantly (15-20kmph) by the evening. “The wind speed, however, reduced by midnight, which led to formation of fog cover in the morning. On Wednesday, westerly and north-westerly winds were blowing at an average speed of 8-10kmph and the same conditions with regard to wind direction and speed is expected to prevail till the weekend,” said Sen.
While the minimum temperature is expected to remain in the single digit till the weekend, the maximum is expected to remain around 20-21 degrees Celsius. Sen added that the rain expected over the next three days is likely to be confined to only a few places in south Bihar.
Though residents are having a tough time in braving the chill but they should heave a sigh of relief as the state is expected to make a narrow escape from a western disturbance lying over Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday. “Though the western disturbance is expected to cause rainfall in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and neighbouring region over the next few days but its effect would be felt till west Uttar Pradesh only. Hence, Bihar would not be facing any extreme weather conditions because of the western disturbance,” said Sen.