Showers signal sub-10 chill in winter last lap

If jackets and jumpers were out from the closet, so were brollies and boots.

Jharkhand woke up to a freak Friday, with the maverick weather god showering unseasonal rain on Ranchi, Jamshedpur and several other places. A western disturbance in northern India also dragged down maximum temperatures, sending the state back to its bone-numbing days of the recent past.

Weathermen said a short phase of sub-10 chill would return in the next 48 hours.

"A western disturbance has impacted Jharkhand's weather. A weak troughline has formed between Gangetic Bengal and the Odisha coast because of this. Under the influence, several pockets experienced rain today," said A.K. Sen, the director of Patna Meteorological Office.

He maintained that the troughline had resulted in heavy moisture incursion into the atmosphere and formation of low clouds. The adverse conditions are expected to improve in the next 24 hours, which will result in a dip in minimum temperatures.

The local weather office in Jamshedpur on Friday recorded a rainfall of 2.6mm, while the capital saw 2.4mm. Districts like Koderma, West Singhbhum, Seraikela-Kharsawan, Simdega, Khunti and Palamau too experienced sporadic rainfall. Seraikela reported 3.2mm and Chaibasa in West Singhbhum recorded 2.9mm.

Inclement weather, with the skies blanketed in heavy clouds, prevailed at some places. The wind speed was 5-6kmph and its pattern unsteady, fluctuating between westerly and easterly.

Residents scurried for cover as the day temperature witnessed an unusual plunge in Jamshedpur and several other places. The local weather office in the steel city recorded 21.3�C, seven notches below the average normal. On Thursday, the city was sultry at 30.6�C.

The night reading witnessed a surge though. The local observatory recorded a minimum of 19�C, five notches above normal. On Thursday, Jamshedpur had recorded a minimum of 18�C.

"I had stopped wearing sweaters for the past few days because the temperatures were rising. But today, I had to get wrapped up again. Winter felt like winter. It was chilling," said Binita Agarwal, a resident of Bistupur.

The day temperature also witnessed an abrupt fall in capital Ranchi, which recorded 22.4�C, two notches below the average normal. On Thursday, the capital had recorded a maximum of 26.2�C. The minimum too dropped to 14.6�C against 15.4�C some 24 hours ago.

Maximum temperatures also witnessed a fall of 2-3 degrees in places like Hazaribagh, Dhanbad, Bokaro, Deoghar, Chatra and Latehar. Night readings in such districts continued to fluctuate by one or two degrees.

Officials at the Regional Meteorological Centre in Calcutta hinted at return of sub-10 chill in the next 48 hours. "The rainy conditions will not persist though we have forecast light showers in isolated pockets of Jharkhand due to cloud formation. But, winter chill will be back once the cloud cover dissipates. It will be for a temporary period though," said director G.C. Debnath.

He added that the minimum would witness an abrupt fall by 5-6 degrees once the state gets rid of the influence of the western disturbance. "Such weather is an indication of retreating winter."

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