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Saturday , May 24 , 2014
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Rain hope rides on low pressure

Weatherman predicts Celsius drop


Bhubaneswar is reeling from heatwave for the past several weeks. The summer scorcher has left people praying for rain. Satellite picture available on the website of the India Meteorological Department shows that rain might just bring the much needed respite in a few days as a low pressure zone has developed in the Bay of Bengal

Bhubaneswar, May 23: The local meteorology department has predicted that the summer scorcher will relent briefly and several places across the state, including the state capital, can expect rain because of a low pressure that has developed in the Bay of Bengal.

Apart from the rain hope, the Met office has predicted that there would be some respite for residents here, as the mercury was expected to remain a few notches lower over the next few days.

With the temperature hovering above 40°C since the last several weeks and the mercury crossing the 44°C mark two days ago in the city, life has been thrown out of gear.

The heatwave has forced most city residents to stay back in their homes during daytime. They only stepped out in the evening hours when the discomfort index drops significantly.

During the last few days, the discomfort index remained above 60°C owing to high temperature and greater humidity level in the air.

“If the meteorological department’s prediction comes true, we will welcome the rain even if it is not an incessant downpour. It will give us the much needed respite. Now it seems as if the entire city is burning. Moreover, the sweat that happens with higher humidity makes things worse. During the daytime it becomes impossible to go outdoors for even important work,” said Smita Rekha Routray, a homemaker.

Sarat Chandra Sahu, director of the Met office, said that a low pressure has been created in the Bay of Bengal around 600km from Paradip. Though the low pressure has become weak, it would induce rain in the state for the next two days.

“Due to the impact of low pressure, the temperature in the state would drop over the next five days and many places in the state, including Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, can expect rainfall in the next 48 hours,” Sahu said.

However, an official in the Met department said in the evening that the low pressure became weak and it would reduce the amount of rain.

Head of the Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre and Cyclone Warning Division at the India Meteorological Department, New Delhi, Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, said that there was no threat from the depression formed over east-central Bay of Bengal near Andaman and Nicobar Islands near Odisha coast.

The depression was formed on May 21 and it has weakened to a low-pressure zone this morning as it has moved in the southwest direction. “There is probability of rain, but the amount will be very less and induce a cooling effect in the environment,” he said.

An official in the local met office said that if the low pressure gathered strength it could have brought more rain. However, with time it is getting weaker and it might not cause as much rain as was anticipated. But because of its impact, the temperature will drop for a few days before it again starts rising from May 28.

On Friday evening, clouds covered the sky bringing hope of rain. As the day temperature was 40.4°C today, people hoped for some relief in the evening. Even the Met office said that there would be hail and thunderstorm at several places with wind speed reaching 60kmph.

“Whether it pours or not, the decrease in temperature will bring solace to all. It was quite frustrating to live with the staying around 44°C and high humidity making things worse,” said Subodh Nayak, a private company employee.

The trend of rainfall in May during the last 10 years shows that there is very little rain in May in Bhubaneswar.

Except for 2010 and 2008, the rainfall in May has never touched 100mm in the city.

Though it needs to be seen whether the low pressure brings rain or not, it has raised hope for the monsoon to enter the state mid-June bring relief from the scorching heatwave.