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Celsius free fall continues - Jharkhand to remain in grip of cold wave for 2 more days by Pinaki Majumdar & Santosh K. Kiro
Wednesday, January 5th 2011, 10:49 AM GMT
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Ranchi/Jamshedpur, Jan. 4: There is going to be no respite from the biting cold, at least for the next 48 hours.

The Patna Meteorological Office today said cold wave conditions over Jharkhand would prevail for another two days, even as it sounded a severe cold wave alert for some areas. With temperatures plummeting, cold related ailments and deaths have also been reported from across the state.

“A severe cold wave alert, the first in four years, has been issued keeping in view the prevailing weather conditions,” said A.K. Manjhi, senior meteorologist at the Patna Met office. Severe cold wave conditions prevail when the minimum temperature drops six notches below normal.

Ranchi, Daltonganj and Bokaro today recorded the season’s lowest minimum temperatures. While the capital froze at 4.4°C, five points below normal, the minimum reading in Bokaro was 5.6°C. Daltonganj recorded 4.5°C, three notches below normal.

Kanke, located 8km from Ranchi, registered 1°C for the second time this winter. Today’s minimum was seven degrees below normal.

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Jamshedpur at 8.1°C and coal capital Dhanbad with 8.3°C, were relatively warmer. Chaibasa in West Singhbhum recorded a minimum of 7.4°C. Several other places including Koderma, Hazaribagh, Deoghar and Latehar, too, witnessed a three degree fall in minimum temperatures in the last 24 hours.

The Regional Meteorological Centre in Alipore, Calcutta, said conditions were favourable for a further plunge in minimum temperatures. “The entire state is in the grip of north-westerly winds, which is resulting in a Celsius slide,” said a duty officer at the Alipore office. He added the weather would remain dry over Jharkhand.

Adding to the cold statistics was the fact that this was the first time in at least five years that cold wave conditions had prevailed for so long. Winter was disappointing last year and in 2008, cold wave conditions prevailed over the state in the last week of December, but only for 48 hours. In 2007, Jharkhand was under the influence of a cold wave in the first week of January, but again only for 48 hours.

However, this time the cold wave, the third of the season, has been prevailing for the last 72 hours. Meteorologists said with no signs of change in the wind pattern and in the absence of any adverse condition, the cold wave will continue for another 48 hours.

Meanwhile, in the capital, the number of people complaining of cold-related ailments has shot up over the last few days. Doctors said the patients were mostly children and the elderly. While those suffering from hypertension were the worst affected, asthma patients were not faring any better.

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Source Link: telegraphindia.com