Capital Fails to Beat the Heat: 'Inversion' to Blame

The mercury climb from 32 degree in the capital C at 8.30 am to 45.8 degree C at 2.30 pm, it was a quantum leap.

Published: 12th April 2016 05:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th April 2016 05:37 AM   |  A+A-

BHUBANESWAR: The mercury climb in the Capital City on Monday was nothing short of phenomenal. From 32 degree C at 8.30 am to 45.8 degree C at 2.30 pm, it was a quantum leap.

The fastest rise was till 11.30 am when the temperature reading was 44 degree C. Within three hours, the City had reported a 12 degree jump. At the stroke of noon, it reached 44.4 degree and in another one hour, it rose to 45.2 degree C before settling at 45.8 degree at 2.30 pm.

For all the micro climatic factors that are responsible for the unprecedented heating up of Bhubaneswar in the last few days, the weather office said, the scientific explanation is a phenomenon called temperature inversion.

Also called inversion of heat, the process sees a rise in temperature at upper layers of atmosphere as compared to surface levels. “With the increase in height/altitude, temperature is supposed to drop but in case of inversion of heat, the process is just the opposite,” Director of IMD, Odisha Sarat Chandra Sahu said.

capita.JPGSo, when the surface temperature was 29.4 degree C between 7 am and 7.30 am, the mercury read 32.8 degree C at a height of 900 metres.

Sahu said the traditional cooling, which takes place in the night, is not happening in the City for a multitude of reasons. As a result, the upper layers have remained warmer and next morning, the heating process is compounded.

In case of temperature inversion, suspended particulates such as dust and smoke remain trapped within the troposphere level which is close to the surface and adds to the heating process. With absence of thunder showers, the release of heat has not happened.

What seems to have added to the woes is the westerly wind whereas easterly wind has been conspicuously absent. As a result, the trapped heat has created a condition of pressure. With growing concretisation coupled with fast disappearance of green belts, water bodies and marshy zones, which once acted as absorbers, the Temple City has failed to beat the heat, literally.

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