The Telegraph
Monday , February 24 , 2014
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Twin threats to spring spell

- Western disturbances, Nor’wester cloud season of love

Frequent western disturbances and Nor’westers can spoil the magical spring spell this year.

Frequent and prolonged western disturbances and Nor’westers can steal the spring — arguably the best season of the year — from the residents of eastern India, including Bihar. There might be no buffer between the winter and the summer this year because of the concurrence of the two weather systems.

The frequent rain spells because of western disturbances might continue till the first week of March, prolonging the winter. The very next week, Nor’wester might hit the state and signal the arrival of summer.

“If the western disturbances continue to originate and hit this region till the first week of March and Nor’westers start causing the thundershowers from the second week, there would be almost two months — February and March — of intermittent rainfall. Hence, people would not be able to feel the spring at all,” said Ashish Sen, director, India Meteorological Department (IMD), Patna.

Global factors, including the unexpected extreme weather conditions across Europe and northern Asia, might also have a role in erratic weather this year. Kashmir valley received fresh snowfall and rainfall on Saturday. Record snowfalls in various regions of northern Asia in the past couple of weeks brought life to a standstill from Beijing to Tokyo.

Weather scientists in the US observed that weather conditions in northern Europe and North America are apparently remaining the same for more prolonged periods. Much of the USA was gripped with Polar Vortex in early January.

A leopard atop its night shelter at Patna zoo on Sunday afternoon to soak in the sun.
Picture by Ranjeet Kumar Dey

Meteorologists at IMD — the national weather agency of the country — claimed that sudden floods, record snowfall and rain in Europe and north Asian countries triggered frequent western disturbances.

M. Mohapatra, the director of the cyclone warning division of IMD, told The Telegraph over phone from New Delhi on Sunday: “There is a definite link between the extreme weather conditions in Europe and western Asia and the frequent western disturbances affecting the weather conditions in northern and eastern India. Western disturbances mostly originate from the Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea and the Caspian Sea. While moving eastward, they pass through the atmospheric circulation arising out of the extreme weather conditions prevailing over western Asia and Europe. However, the extent to which the extreme weather conditions of Europe and Asia are influencing western disturbance and in turn the winter rainfall in northwest parts of Indian subcontinent requires more detailed scientific assessment.”

The frequency of western disturbances is usually the highest in January compared to December and February. But weathermen claimed that the scenario was different this year. “The frequency of western disturbance has been the maximum in February this year,” said Mohapatra.

The thirteenth western disturbance is expected to hit Bihar by Wednesday. The twelfth triggered rainfall on Saturday. Most parts of the state, including Patna, did not receive rainfall on Sunday but the skies remained mostly overcast.

Weathermen at Patna Met office have predicted clear skies till Tuesday, followed by overcast conditions for a couple of days from Wednesday.

As the western disturbances are hitting the region one after the other, weathermen claimed that its resultant moisture content might intensify the Nor’wester activities.

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