The Telegraph
Saturday , March 29 , 2014
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Weekend mercury march

This March is cruel, if April is the cruellest month.

The residents have started facing prickly heat conditions after prolonged monsoon and winter. Same day last year (March 28, 2013), the city had witnessed rain. But today (Friday) there was no sign of showers. People have been braving dry hot and windy conditions over the past couple of days.

With the sun burning bright, the maximum temperature in the city has started getting close to fretful 40. It reached 37°C on Thursday and climbed further to 37.8°C on Friday, the highest this year.

Weathermen have forecast a Celsius sprint for the next 48 hours. The maximum temperature would be hovering around 37-38°C in the weekend.

According to the records with the Patna Met department, the highest maximum March temperature in city in the past 100 years was 41.4°C on March 27, 2010.

The northward movement in the mercury column has been attributed to dry westerly winds. “The westerly winds have been persistent in the region for over 10 days now. It is responsible for the continuous northward movement of the mercury column,” said Ashish Sen, director, India Meteorological Department (IMD), Patna.

Shooting temperature conditions are being observed in other parts of the state as well. Gaya at 37.8°C topped the maximum temperature chart in the state on Thursday and Bhagalpur was almost as hot as Patna at 36.5°C.

Gaya again topped the Celsius chart on Friday recording a maximum temperature of 37.8°C. Bhagalpur and Purnea also remained uncomfortably hot.

As the dry westerly winds swept through most parts of the state, umbrellas came out of wardrobes. People queued up at juice, soft drinks and ice cream shops to beat the heat.

“It is getting increasingly hot with every passing day. Fans are of no help, air-conditioners are the only saviour now,” said Dipak Kumar, a resident of Boring Road.

Despite uncomfortably hot days, residents are getting respite from the heat in the night and early morning hours. “The dry westerly wind, which is pushing up the day temperature, feels like breeze in the night hours. Another reason behind soothing conditions in the night is minimal moisture in the lower level of the atmosphere,” said Sen.

The westerly winds are not just dry and hot. They are blowing at a comparatively high speed. “The normal wind speed at this time of the year is 2 to 5km per hour but these days it is blowing at an average speed of 7 to 8km per hour,” said Sen.

The weathermen have claimed that there is a possibility of a temporary respite from the scorching heat in the next week. ”As the western current has started weakening in the western parts of the country, the same trend is expected in the eastern parts as well from Monday onwards. As soon as the westerly winds weaken in this region, the maximum temperature would witness a slight fall,” said Sen.

The expected halt in the Celsius climb would however only be marginal as the state is unlikely to get Nor’wester — the summer coolers or pre-monsoon rain-bearers — over next couple of days.

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