Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: Get ready for wrapping up warm. The mercury in the Odisha air will take an unexpected nip from around the second week of January. The forecast is a cold wave-like condition will prevail even on the 72nd Republic Day this year in the districts of western and southern Odisha. The coastal districts of the State will witness dense fog by the next weekend.

In tandem with the prediction of a cooler than normal January this year owing to the formation of moderate La Nina phenomenon in the pacific sea, the long term model forecast of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) has made a forecast where the prediction is the minimum temperature in the month of January in the whole of Odisha will remain on an average around 2-3 degree Celsius below the normal minimum temperature observed in the month of January.

[caption id="attachment_505916" align="alignnone" width="750"] Forecast of US-based CPC. Blue colour shows Odisha to have below normal temp in Jan[/caption]

A detailed glance at the IITM forecast shows that during the third week (14-20) of January, the minimum temperature in Odisha’s western, southern, central and some coastal districts like Cuttack and Bhubaneswar will record a drop of around 3-5 degree Celsius vis-à-vis the normal minimum temperature observed in January. For the rest of the State, a fall of 2-3 degree C is predicted.

However, in the subsequent week (January 21-27), the minimum temperature in the entire stretch of coastal Odisha and southern districts like Rayagada etc will post a rise; whereas the cold wave conditions are predicted to prevail in the districts of western Odisha, reads the forecast.

IMD Winter Forecast For Odisha

Meanwhile, a forecast made by the country’s lead weather agency IMD predicts that the minimum temperature in the Odisha’s western districts like Sundargarh, Jharsuguda and adjoining places, Kandhamal may drop to around 5 degrees C on January 12-13, whereas in other districts like Bolangir, Nuapada, Deogarh, Khurda, including Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Keonjhar, Dhenkanal, Mayurbhanj, Koraput, Rayagada etc the minimum temperature is predicted to drop to around 11 degrees C during the period of Jan 12-14.

“The cold wave in Odisha depends on the pattern of wind flow. The nighttime temperature in the State had seen a big fall, whenever west-northwest winds blow over the landmass of the State. The flow of wind from west to east causes a sinking motion over the land surface resulting in cold wave-like conditions. The flow of west north-west wind to Odisha is the prime reason behind sweeping cold wave spells in the State,” explained former IMD Bhubaneswar director SC Sahoo.

As per the IITM wind model, anti-cyclonic air circulation is seen extending over Odisha, Chhattisgarh and neighbouring Jharkhand. For which, the State is now witnessing cold day conditions. For which, the minimum temperature recorded during the last 2-days hovered around13-14 deg C. However, the forecast suggests that the minimum temperature across the State will rise from January 5 -10.

Fog Alert For Odisha

The ECMWF’s (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecast) model hoists an alert of dense fog for the coastal districts in the State. A look at the detailed forecast shows that except Balasore, all other coastal districts, including Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Berhampur, will witness heavy fog in the morning hours on January 8, 10 and 11.

History Of Cold Wave in January

A glance at the data available for the period of 2010-2020 shows that Odisha had witnessed cold wave-like conditions during the second week of January, except in 2019 when the lowest minimum temperature was observed in January first week. For two consecutive years of 2015 and 2016, the State had recorded cold wave during the fourth week of January (22-25).

As far as 2021 January is concerned, the winter forecast models predict that the minimum temperature in the State will witness the highest fall of around 3-5 degree C during the period of January 14 – 20.