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Central India in grip of cold wave

Vinson Kurian

Thiruvananthapuram , Jan. 27

ALMOST the entire central India is reeling under cold wave conditions in an unusual turn of weather events occasioned by the southward shifting of the seasonal anti-cyclone.

On Friday, the anti-cyclone was sitting over west Madhya Pradesh, having strayed from its seasonal perch over west Rajasthan. In the process, it also caused the colder north to northwesterly winds to penetrate central India, bringing down the mercury six to seven deg C below normal for this time of the year.

The result is that severe cold wave conditions have come to prevail over Marathwada. Dr Akhilesh Gupta of the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF), told Business Line that cold wave conditions have extended to Madhya Maharashtra, Vidarbha, Orissa, south Chhattisgarh and to areas south of the Vindhyas as well.

Parts of Andhra Pradesh, especially Telengana, have seen night temperatures plunge to new lows. Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka are probably the only States not to have been brought under the prevailing cold snap, Dr Gupta said.

In the northwest, Punjab saw isolated pockets being brought under cold climes under the influence of a prevailing western disturbance. The hilly regions of northwest India are expected to witness isolated snowfall/rainfall during the next 24 hours.

However, indications are that the anti-cyclone will revert to moving north and help lift the cold wave conditions in central India earliest by Sunday. This is because the northward movement will bring warm and moisture-laden easterlies into play as the prevailing prominent winds.

Predictions by the NCMRWF suggest a significant rise in both day and night temperatures - of the order of three to five deg C - over most parts of central and northwest India beginning from Sunday. This spell will continue for at least the three following days, helping abate cold wave conditions to a great extent.

Meanwhile, a fresh western disturbance is likely to affect northwest India on Wednesday and Thursday (February 1 and 2). The system is expected to cause isolated to scattered snowfall/rainfall over the hilly regions of northwest India during the period.

In region-wise forecasts, the NCMRWF said isolated snowfall/rains are likely over Jammu and Kashmir during the next 24 hours. Both day and night temperatures are likely to increase by two to three deg C over the plains of the northwest from Sunday.

In the east, Orissa is likely experience rise in day and night temperatures by two to four deg C. As for central India, the rise in temperature will be steeper ranging from three to five deg C in Vidarbha and Chhattisgarh.

In the south, mainly dry weather has been forecast for the entire region except Andaman and Nicobar where isolated rains are expected during the next two days. Some isolated rain activity is expected over coastal Tamil Nadu around Monday.

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