BHUBANESWAR: Titlagarh is on a boiling spree. On Sunday, mercury scaled a new high with the Western Odisha town recording 48.5 degree Celsius. It not only emerged as the hottest place in the country on the day but also reported one of the hottest days in the State in recent history.
On June 5, 2003, the town had recorded 50.1 degree C, an all time high for the State. For April, its highest temperature was 48.1 degree C registered on April 30 in 1999. Sunday’s temperature shot that record down.
Talking of records, the day’s maximum day temperature was also one of the highest - fourth, to be precise - in the State so far as all time highs are considered. According to the India Meteorological Department statistics, on May 28, 1988, Jharsuguda had recorded 49.6 degree C. On April 22, 1973, Balangir town reported 49 degree C while on June 21, 1999, Sambalpur equalled the feat. Director, IMD, Odisha Sarat Chandra Sahu said the temperature pattern of Titlagarh has been a little surprising since mercury has been hovering around the 48 degree C for the last three days whereas other nearby stations in the district are at least two to three degree cooler.
Balangir recorded 44.5 degree C on the day.
While Balangir was scorched, across the State, similar, if not more, excruciatingly hot conditions persisted. As many as 16 stations recorded above 40 degree C temperature out of which eight recorded 44 degree-plus. Sonepur with 46.1 degree C and Bhawanipatna 45 degree C were among other hotter places of the State.
So far, at least 88 sun-stroke deaths have been reported out of which the Government confirmed just four. In 28 cases, the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) office said, the deaths occurred due to other reasons. Fifty-six cases are still under inquiry.
The weather office said there is little possibility of the conditions abating which means the maximum day temperature may further go up in the hotter zones. The wind from western and northern zones may abate the heat for two to three days beginning Tuesday. If adequate moisture flow from the Bay of Bengal happens during that period, chances of Norwester occurring could arise in the coastal districts.
As of now, humidity level in upper atmosphere is about 20 per cent which does not aid thundershower activity. It must go beyond 80 per cent to favour the conditions for rain, the met office said. Besides, there is no forecast of any weather-based system.
The matter of concern though is that north western India has cooled down with temperature varying in 38-39 degree C zone. In May when the mercury rises, coastal Odisha will feel the impact.