Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: A significant weather observation has been observed in the month of April this year, especially when Odisha is battling with the growing  COVID-19 count. The COVID-19 crossed the century mark in Odisha on April 25.

Moreover, when higher temperature is scientifically proven as a barrier to speedier transmission of virus, the big emerging fact is most of the COVID hotspots in Odisha have a temperature (both day & night) that are far below normal April temperature, which IMD terms as appreciably below normal. In contrast, rain and cooler temperature are considered as conducive to virus transmission and growth.

As per met predictions, such conditions will persist in Odisha till May 5. The lockdown ends on May 3.

The Maximum temperatures in the COVID-hit districts are lower by as high as 8.2 - 7.5 degree Celsius. Similarly, the minimum temperatures are also lower by 8.5 - 4 degree Celsius.

Now, take the instance of Bhubaneswar- a COVID hotspot: The maximum temperature recorded on April 25 was 29.9 deg C, which is 7.5 degree C below the April normal temperature. A similar trend was observed  in the day time temperatures in other hotspot districts like Bhadrak, Balasore and Jajpur, where it was lower by around 5-7 degree C.

Similarly, in Sundergarh, another emerging COVID hotspot in Odisha, the day time temperature on April 25 was lower by a high of 8.2 deg C.

Not only day time temperature, a similar trend was observed in the minimum (night time) temperatures of the same places. The range was between 5 deg C in (Balasore) and 4 deg C in Bhubaneswar.

In contrast, the variation of maximum and minimum temperatures in non-hotspots districts in the State has been very minimal. For instance, the Ganjam district. Here variation was mere 1.3 deg C in the maximum (day time)temperature.  

However, the immediate weather alert for today is, intensive lightning strikes are predicted in the districts of Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore and Baripada. The lightning is predicted to strike between afternoon hours (1 PM) and evening hours (8 PM).

A prediction of lightning flashes has also been made for the places in western Odisha like Rourkela and surrounding places in the Sundergarh district.

The thunderous alert for the state of Odisha has been inferred from the brightness temperature map of the IMD-IITM (Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology). Lead lightning forecaster US-based Earth Networks has also made a similar forecast on lightning strikes for today in Odisha.

IITM estimates the surface brightness temperature measured by remote sensing satellite INSAT 3-D.

[caption id="attachment_447511" align="alignnone" width="650"]Odisha cloud map Skysat map clearly shows thick clouds over north coastal dists[/caption]

A look at the cloud map (see the image above) at 13:00 hours today shows thick cloud cover over districts of Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada and parts of Jajpur and Bhadrak, whereas thin cloud cover is seen over the districts of remaining parts of Bhadrak, whole of Balasore,  Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, parts of Sundergarh and Deogarh.