BHUBANESWAR:A squall took the Capital City by surprise after strong wind accompanied by heavy showers sent denizens scurrying for cover on Monday afternoon.It came almost out of blue as the bright and sunny weather gave way to pounding rain within no time just after noon. Trees were flattened, power supply was snapped and as usual, major roads of the Smart City were submerged under the gushing storm water. With rains lashing for more than an hour, traffic came to a standstill in the City.
As Bhubaneswar recorded 30 mm rain and people sought cover, many took to social media wondering if such unseasonal rain in mid-May was an window to the days to come when impact of climate change would be palpable.In the wake of the squall, two Bhubaneswar bound flights were diverted to Kolkata. Indigo’s Bengaluru-Bhubaneswar flight and Hyderabad-Bhubaneswar Air Asia flight were diverted due to bad weather, Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) Director Suresh Chandra Hota said.
The weather office, too, acknowledged that it was not anything like a Norwester which occurs during late afternoon and with limited impact. This mid-May change in local weather was attributed to south-easterly wind flow and moisture incursion from the Bay of Bengal.“Wind pattern has been different this summer. As against the normal north-westerly wind, we have been witnessing easterly wind. With availability of moisture in lower atmosphere, such unseasonal rainfall is taking place,” Director, India Meteorological Department, Odisha SC Sahu said.
In fact, the cloud formation had taken place closer to Chhattisgarh border and with moisture flow, it led to squall across many parts of western, central and coastal Odisha.If Bhubaneswar received 30 mm, Angul was lashed by 50 mm shower followed by 40 mm at Talcher and Bhawanipatna and 23 mm at Sambalpur. Dhenkanal recorded 25 mm while Puri and Cuttack reported 20 and 13 mm rain.
Sahu said another such squall may hit these regions during the small hours of Tuesday. Given the conditions, more rains are expected in next 24 hours with wind speed reaching 50-60 km per hour.
There is also forecast for heavy rainfall in one or two coastal districts of Odisha in next 24 hours. Rain and thundershower is likely in Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Nabarangpur, Boudh, Nuapada, Bargarh, Sonepur, Sundergarh, Jharsugda, Sambalpur, Deogarh, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Dhenkanal, Angul, Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Cuttack, Mayurbhanj and Malkangiri districts.
Heat to return after May 22
The squall recurrence would thin down and hot and humid weather is likely to return with a vengeance. From May 18, day temperature would rise again. By May 22-23, it is likely to hit 45 degree C mark in western and central districts of the State. In coastal pockets though, the wind pattern may save the day. Sweltering conditions, however, would return.