Westerlies push mercury down – Times of India

PATNA: The crisp weather has started making its presence felt in the state with minimum temperature plunging to below 20 degrees C mark in Patna, Gaya, Bhagalpur, Purnia and several other places.

The minimum temperature in the state capital on Tuesday was recorded at 19.4 degrees C. Nip in the air apart, forecast for fog in the morning has also been issued for Patna, Gaya, Bhagalpur, Purnia and some other places in the state over the next two days.

Weathermen have attributed the plunge in the temperature to gradual advent of dry and cold westerly winds in the region. The local met office in its forecast on Tuesday stated that minimum and maximum temperatures in Patna are likely to drop to 17 degrees C and 29 degrees C, respectively, by this weekend.

“Though westerly winds have set in the upper layer level of atmosphere, north- easterly winds are still blowing in the lower level. However, the dry and cold westerlies are likely to become dominant in the entire atmosphere by the end of this week,” Sandeep Kumar, meteorologist at Patna Meteorological Centre told TOI on Tuesday.

Kumar added the moisture-laden easterly winds in the lower level of atmosphere is creating conducive conditions for formation of fog cover in the morning over the next couple of days.

Though a nip in the air is being felt by residents, the winter season has still not officially set in the city. The minimum temperature is hovering in the range of 19 to 20 degrees C, while meteorology needs it to remain below 13 degrees C for at least a week for winter season to officially set in at a place.

The winter season normally sets in Bihar around mid-November and it is at its peak between December 20 and January 15. Last year, however, the minimum temperature started getting recorded below 13 degrees C mark – one of the meteorological criteria for onset of winter season – from the third week of November.

Weathermen at local Met office have also claimed that weather depressions would be frequent in the post-monsoon season, which would lead to extreme winter conditions this time.

Winter schedule at Patna airport: The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has implemented winter schedule at Jayaprakash Narayan International Airport, Patna from October 29 (Sunday), which would remain effective till mid-February. Senior AAI officials said 36 flights would operate under the winter schedule against existing 35 flights operating from the city airport earlier. Indigo would add one flight on Chennai-Patna-Varanasi route from December 15.

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