The Telegraph
Monday , March 31 , 2014
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Scorched city spurs heat wave alert, capital cool

- Weathermen say no stormy reprieve in near sight, Loo-like winds to continue till midweek

The cruel sun has sent the swelter meter spinning across Jharkhand, barring Ranchi, triggering the Celsius to a seasonal high of 41.2°C in Jamshedpur on Sunday and prompting weathermen to sound this summer’s first heat wave alert.

The Patna Meteorological Centre issued the warning in isolated pockets of the state, including the Chotanagpur Plateau region and Deoghar, where the mercury touched an oppressive 41°C. The maximum temperature in steel city Jamshedpur was four notches above normal — the marker for a heat wave alert. Sunday’s reading was also close to a degree higher than Saturday’s.

“Jharkhand is in the grip of dry westerly winds, which are pushing up day temperatures. The degree distress is likely to continue as we don’t see the possibility of any Nor’wester relief in the next 48 hours,” A.K. Sen, the director of Patna Met office, said and added that heat wave conditions were expected to prevail at a few places.

Weathermen pointed out that the Celsius surge contrasted with a sharp fall in minimum relative humidity from 34 per cent to 12 per cent was resulting in dry heat. Loo, the dry wind that normally sweeps through the plains during this time of the season, is prevailing in Jamshedpur and some other places.

“The Loo-like weather is likely to continue because we do not find signs of change in the wind pattern. Rainfall isn’t likely in the next couple of days,” said a duty officer at the Regional Meteorological Centre in Alipore, Calcutta.

The steel city’s neighbours like Chaibasa (West Singhbhum), Ghatshila (East Singhbhum) and Seraikela (Seraikela-Kharsawan) also witnessed a day reading of over 41°C as did Deoghar and its allied districts in Santhal Pargana.

In coal town Dhanbad, the maximum temperature shot up to 40.4°C, the local highest so far. On Saturday, the town was a tad cooler at 39°C. The Celsius also witnessed a degree rise in Bokaro, where the day recorded a temperature of 39.6°C, three notches above normal. Traditional heat chamber Daltonganj stayed at 39°C for the second consecutive day.

Capital Ranchi was the coolest one with 36.2°C, the reading being a notch above normal.

Jamshedpur homemaker Shilpi Roy Chowdhury said stepping out of house was like a curse on Sunday. “The sun is singeing your skin. No amount of sunscreen seems to help prevent a tan. I still tried to block the harsh rays by covering my face with a dupatta,” the shopper at a local market in Sonari said.

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