Sunny relief from cold

There was slight relief for Patna residents on Thursday as the minimum temperature rose to 4.4�C after the mercury dipped to a record 1.1�C on Wednesday.

The rise in the minimum temperature was attributed to bright and sunny skies in the capital.

"The daylong sunshine on Wednesday led to the rise in the night or minimum temperature on Thursday in Patna. The trend of a surge of 2 to 3 degrees Celsius in the minimum temperature was observed at most places in the state on Thursday. The minimum is expected to rise by one or two degree Celsius on Friday as well," said Ashish Sen, director, India Meteorological Department, Patna.

The capital's maximum stood at 19.3�C, four notches below normal. Thursday's lowest minimum temperature in the state was recorded at Sabour (1.5�C). Gopalganj that had dropped to 0�C on Wednesday surged to 2.8�C.

The Met department, however, observed severe cold wave conditions prevailing across the state on Thursday in spite of the lessening of the freezing chill. The weathermen sounded state-wide cold wave alert for the fourth consecutive day. "The severe cold wave condition is likely to reduce to general cold wave condition in two days after which the conditions would stabilise," said Sen.

Chief minister Nitish Kumar also called upon Vyasji, principal secretary, disaster management, on Thursday for reviewing steps taken by the government to provide relief to people from the biting cold. Nitish asked Vyasji to personally supervise the distribution of blankets across the state.

Residents can also expect a respite from the chilly winds by the weekend, Sen said. "The chilly wind conditions are expected to start abating from tomorrow (Friday) but major relief can be felt only by the weekend," he added.