The Telegraph
Friday , May 23 , 2014
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Thank God! Respite in sight
Depression fans summer shower hope

Respite from scorcher is in sight. This weekend, it might rain after a dry spell of almost two months.

The Met office has come up with the most sought-after forecast of overcast conditions with rain in the weekend. If the prediction holds “water”, the long dry spell in the city would be over.

After the driest April in the past three years, the residents have been experiencing the driest May of the decade till date. It has not rained at all in the city over the past two months, making this summer unusually dry.

In the absence of the thundershowers, this summer has been exceptionally gruelling for the residents. At 43.4°C, the city recorded the season’s highest maximum temperature on Wednesday. The condition remained almost the same on Thursday. The mercury slipped just by a degree and stood at 42.4°C, still four notches higher than the normal.

Shooting temperature conditions are being observed across the state. At 43°C, Gaya topped the maximum temperature chart in the state on Thursday. Bhagalpur was in the second position recording 42.6°C.

Ashish Sen, director, India Meteorological Department (IMD), Patna, claimed that Bihar, Bengal and internal areas in Odisha like Sambalpur have been observed as the hottest zone in the country over the past few days.

“Normally, places like Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab and Haryana record the highest maximum temperature in the country in May-end. But Bihar, Bengal and internal Odisha are recording the highest maximum temperature this time,” said Sen.

The Met office claimed that the ongoing heatwave in Patna, the second this season, prevailed for the fifth consecutive day on Thursday.

The first heatwave of the season in the city was declared on May 11, when the maximum temperature reached 43.5°C, seven notches higher than the normal. The city continued to reel from heatwave conditions over the next four days, only to cool down a bit last Thursday, when the maximum temperature dropped to 39.9°C.

The second spell of heatwave has been longer than the first one but the expected overcast conditions in the weekend could bring it to an end.

“We are expecting overcast conditions with light rain across Bihar during the weekend because of a deep depression in the Bay of Bengal. The cloud cover and the rain are expected to cause moisture incursion in the region, which would obstruct the penetration of solar rays in the lower level of the atmosphere. That, in turn, would bring down the maximum temperature,” said Sen.

Deliberating on the expected progress of the deep depression lying over the Bay of Bengal on Thursday, Sen said: “It is expected to have an impact on districts like Katihar, Purnea and Kishanganj in north-east Bihar first on Saturday. Progressing further, it is expected to cover central Bihar, including Patna, on Sunday. The rainfall and cloudy conditions are expected to prevail till Monday.”

There is a rider, though. All the predictions would hinge on the movement of the deep depression towards Myanmar. “If it moves towards south Myanmar, there would be less rainfall in Bihar. But if it moves towards north Myanmar, there would be comparatively more rainfall,” said Sen.

Monsoon on track

The southwest monsoon is expected to reach the state on time.

Met chief Sen told The Telegraph on Thursday that the southwest monsoon waves are likely to hit Bihar in the second week of June.

The normal date for the onset of southwest monsoon in Bihar is June 13. Normally, southwest monsoon enters Bihar through the north-eastern districts of Purnea and Katihar and covers the rest of the state within a day or two.

“After covering Andaman Sea by Thursday, the southwest monsoon is progressing normally till now. It has also covered east-central Bay of Bengal till Thursday. Accordingly, we expect it would hit Bihar around June 11-13,” said Sen.

The IMD in its long range forecast earlier predicted that the rainfall triggered by the southwest monsoon could be slight less (-10 per cent) this year.

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