The poll heat is on, literally.
On the eve of the elections in the city, the maximum temperature stood at 40.5°C on Wednesday — the highest of the season (0.5°C more than the temperature recorded on April 8) so far. On the poll day, the mercury column would hover around the 39°C-mark between 12noon and 3pm.
The Met department on Wednesday came up with forecast for expected temperature and moisture-level for every two-hour on the poll day. Those planning to hit the booths between 12noon and 3pm should brace for facing the maximum temperature of around 39°C. Weathermen suggested that the best time for casting vote is between 7am and 9am, when the temperature is expected to be around 27-30°C.
In fact, the Celsius surge started from Tuesday. The Met department attributed the gradual northward movement of the mercury column to low moisture content in the air. The moisture-level in the atmosphere during the peak afternoon hours (12noon-3pm) on Wednesday was in the range of 25 to 35 per cent.
“The moist easterly winds blowing in the region for a couple of days ago is still very weak. The moisture is at its lowest level in the afternoon hours, which allows direct penetration of solar rays, leading to surge in the maximum temperature,” said Ashish Sen, director, India Meteorological Department, Patna.
True, the low moisture content in the air is leading to northward movement in the mercury column but it is preventing the rise in discomfort index. “The discomfort increases if high temperature with high moisture content persists for over four-five days. However, no such discomfort factor can be said to have arrived in Patna, as the level of moisture is remaining pretty low during the daytime — 20-35 per cent,” added Sen.
The city is yet to experience any Nor’wester — the sudden thundershowers that act as summer coolers at this time of the year. The Met director said isolated thunderstorm activities were expected in few south Bihar districts in the next week, around April 21 and 22.
“A Nor’wester has caused isolated thunderstorm activities at several places along the coastal Bengal and some parts of Jharkhand during the past 48 hours. It is expected to hit the south Bihar districts as well around April 21,” said Sen.
The Met director also ruled out any possibility of heat wave conditions in the city at least till the next week.