BHUBANESWAR: Mercury continued its downward trend as biting cold conditions gripped central, western and northern Odisha districts on Monday.If Phulbani was shivering with night temperature recording a further drop, Similipal Wildlife Sanctuary in Mayurbhanj district also reported equally chilly conditions. What is worse, the weather office said there will be no respite from the chill for another one week.
On Monday, Phulbani reported 4.6 degree Celsius while Daringibadi saw a two degree fall - from 6.5 degree C on Sunday to 4.8 degree C on the day. Sources in Similipal said the core areas of the tiger habitat also recorded night temperature around 4 degree C. These were the coldest places not only in the State but also in the country.
Central pockets like Angul (8 degree C), Talcher (12.3 degree C), western towns of Bhawanipatna (7.5 degree C), Balangir (9.3 degree), Sambalpur (8.1 degree C), Hirakud (8.5 degree C) and southern towns like Koraput (9 degree C) also felt the chill.
The India Meteorological Department said the night temperature was marked below normal over interior parts of the State, five degree below the normal at some places.
''It is primarily because of the cold conditions prevailing in north and north western regions of the country. The westerly wind blowing into the State has led to a drop in the night temperature.
The cyclonic circulation over Bay of Bengal has helped the conditions,'' Director, IMD, Odisha Sarat Chandra Sahu said.
The circulation over the bay, Sahu said, has led to easterlies facilitating movement of cold wind from the northern regions.
The IMD Director said the cold conditions will continue for at least a week and the cold wave conditions will prevail till December 22. The night temperature may not drop markedly but it may drop between 0.5 degree to 1 degree at some places.