| Kids sip sugarcane juice on a sultry Wednesday afternoon at Kargil Chowk. Picture by Ranjeet Kumar Dey |
Brace for the “from the frying pan into the fire” experience. The prevailing heatwave conditions in the city could intensify into a “severe heatwave” by the weekend.
Weathermen are apprehensive that the maximum temperature could surge to 44°C by the weekend, triggering a “severe heatwave” condition. Ashish Sen, director, Patna Meteorological Centre, said: “Based on the prevailing weather conditions, we expect the maximum temperature to hover around 42-43°C over the next two days. By the weekend, it might go up to 44°C (seven to eight notches higher than normal), prompting severe heatwave conditions.”
The harsher heat forecast came on a hot Wednesday, as the city continued to reel from heatwave conditions for the fourth consecutive day. The maximum temperature dropped marginally to 41.6°C from Tuesday’s 42.5, but remained five degrees above normal.
Patna apart, shooting temperature conditions are being observed elsewhere as well. At 41.8°C, Bhagalpur topped the maximum temperature chart in the state on Wednesday. Patna was in the second position, followed by Gaya at 41.3°C.
The city has become extremely dry and hot because of the dominance of the ruthless westerly wind in the lower level of the atmosphere. Sen claimed that Bihar, including Patna and parts of eastern Uttar Pradesh, had been the hottest zone in the country over the past couple of days.
The westerly wind has been dominating the air up to 6km from the earth’s surface, strong enough to resist any nominal change in the wind direction that can help in bringing down the temperature. Sen said: “It takes more time for reversal in wind direction when a particular wind gains such a height in the lower level of the atmosphere. Accordingly, we do not see any change in the wind direction at least till Monday.”
The hot solar rays would continue to penetrate into the lower level of the atmosphere freely amid the dry westerly winds, which in turn would push up the temperature over the next few days.
According to Sen, the respite recipe is either a strong anti-cyclonic circulation in the Bay of Bengal or a cyclonic circulation over Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. “Either of these can lead to heavy moisture incursion and change the wind direction from the dry westerly to moist easterly. If strong enough, they can lead to Nor’wester thundershowers,” he said.