BHUBANESWAR: An intense cold wave gripped Odisha for the second consecutive day as minimum temperature went on a free fall on the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday. Almost all parts of the State reported a three to six degree drop in the night temperature forcing people to literally seek cover. Phulbani town, the district headquarters of Kandhamal, reported near freezing point as the night temperature dropped by a whopping nine degree Celsius in a single day.
From 11 degree C on Saturday, the town recorded two degree on Sunday. The interior pockets of the district are known to report a further lower temperature. On the day, the India Meteorological Department said at least 12 stations (towns) of the State recorded sub-10 degree Celsius. “It is the interior districts of the State which reported a major fall in temperature. Phulbani, where the normal temperature is 6 degree C around this time, reported a four degree fall though the overall decline over the last 24 hours was nine degree C,” said Director, IMD, Odisha Sarat Chandra Sahu. At Sundargarh, the temperature dropped further to 6 degree, while Hirakud reported 7.6 degree C. Daringbadi reported 7 degree C while Koraput (7.8 degree), Keonjhar (8.8 degree C), Titlagarh (8.5 degree) experienced biting cold conditions. Even in the coastal pockets, the night temperature dropped significantly except for Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Paradip and Gopalpur where the night temperature hovered around 12 to 13 degree Celsius.
The weather office said the sudden fall in mercury was expected with the flow of northerly and northwesterly wind. However, there might be a jump in the temperature by one to two degree during December 29-30. The drop in wind flow from northwestern region could cause the temporary rise. “The rise will be marginal and we expect the cold conditions to prevail over next weekend,” Sahu added.