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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: The word 'Unusual' seems trending in Odisha this summer - be it the COVID or the unusual weather trend, where in a first since the year 2000, the maximum day temperature across the state has remained much below the normal summer temperature.

Consequently, the big 'unusual' impact observed in this COVID year is heat waves have taken a break from Odisha till date. But the twist in the tale is mercury is predicted to turn red for the State from May 15.

With the development of cyclonic storm Amphan over Bay of Bengal (BoB), and since the system will see huge moisture incursion now, maximum day temperature in Odisha, especially in the western districts, will rise to over 43 degree Celsius from May 15. In simple, heat wave is set to haunt Odisha from Friday. But mercury in the State will shoot up to its peak during May 21 -23.

As per the NEPS model (developed by NCMRWF), the adjoining places in Balangir, Sonepur, Bargarh and Sambalpur will record maximum day temperature of around 43-45 degree Celsius on May 15, whereas rest of the districts, except in southern Odisha, will see maximum day temperature hovering over 40 degree C.

May 16: The predictions show the whole of western Odisha will record maximum day temperature between 43 and 45 degree C on this day. Only three districts - Kandhamal, Rayagada and Koraput - in the State will record a maximum temperature of below 40 deg C.

May 17:  As many as eight Districts like Nuapada, Bolangir, Bargarh, Sonepur, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Sundergarh and Angul will witness heat wave. The day time maximum temperature may touch 45 degree C.

May 21-23: Predictions by other international models show majority of districts in Odisha may record maximum day temperature of around 45 degree Celsius on these days.

However, the little comforting prediction is Odisha will not witness severe heat wave (in the month of May) this year.

In weather parlance, temperature of over 45 degree Celsius is termed as severe heat wave. The model predictions if turn accurate, then the whole of Odisha, except few districts in south, will witness heat wave from May 15-22.

The data available with IMD shows Odisha had witnessed the maximum of 41 heat waves in year 2017. The State had recorded 22 heat waves and 2 cyclones(Daye and Titli) in 2018 and 6 heat waves and 2 cyclones (Fani and Bulbul)  in 2019.

The bottomline is heat wave is set to sweep the State from May 15, and, coincidentally, when this year's first pre-Monsoon cyclone Amphan has taken birth in the Bay of Bengal.

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