Cold in North Karnataka just gets worse

Bijapur and Raichur record minimum temperatures not experienced in 119 years

Compare that with Bangalore’s minimum temperature of 17.6 on Saturday, and you will get an idea of what weather shock the people of the sun-baked region have been hit with.

But even as people in the region continue to shiver in the unusually chilly conditions, experts say that the fall in temperature is just a seasonal change and not unusual.

Speaking with Deccan Herald , Rajegowda, a scientist  in  the University of Agriculture Sciences, Bangalore attributed the chilly condition to lack of rain in the last week of November and the first week of December.

Although the skies were cloudy, there were no rains, leading to scant  water vapour in the atmosphere. Usually, the water vapour absorbs the outgoing radiation of the earth and keeps the atmosphere a little warm, thus maintaining the temperature equilibrium. Because of the lack of vapour and clear skies, the radiation travels to the higher atmosphere, leading to a drop in temperature in the lower atmosphere, Rajegowda said.

Vapour content 

Another phenomenon observed in the northern parts of the state is that due to the lack of water bodies in the region in comparison to the southern parts, there is less water evaporating and hence lesser vapour content in the atmosphere, thereby contributing to the dipping of temperatures, he said. This has resulted in the temperature falling as much as five to 10 per cent, compared to last year. 

The cold wave that is sweeping across the country with winter solstice - December 21 (which also happens to the shortest day of the year) - round the corner is also a reason for the sudden drop in mercury levels. With days being shorter there is more outgoing radiation and less incoming radiation and hence, the cold weather.

Puttanna, director of the meteorological centre, Bangalore, too finds nothing unusual in the drastic fall in temperature in North Karnataka in the last few days. He attributed the low temperatures recorded to the relocation of said weather observatories in north Karnataka to outside the towns such as Raichur, Bellary and Bagalkot, five years ago, due to various reasons.

The temperatures recorded when the centres were located inside the towns were on the higher side by a Celsius or two, given the density of population, concrete structures, roads and other infrastructure, besides the presence of dust and smoke in the atmosphere. With the observatories having been shifted to the outskirts, the temperatures recorded have been a little less than ‘normal,’ given that the countryside is bereft of influencing factors seen in urban surroundings.

Puttanna allayed fears that global warming may have been contributing to the ‘peculiar behaviour of weather patterns’ in recent times, saying that nothing can be deduced unless detailed studies are conducted by scientists across the globe.

But those words of wisdom have not exactly warm the cockles of the people in the region, who, huddled in their woollens are praying for the sun to reappear.

Cold facts

* Worst low temperatures in 119 years
* Bijapur shivers at 6 deg C
* Raichur freezes at 7.3

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