Ominous signs from Davangere for this summer

Mercury rising

The temperature is a 10-degree rise compared with the same period last year, when it was 25.6 degree Celsius. On Tuesday, however, there was a slight relief with the maximum temperature coming down to 35 degree Celsius.

According to temperature records at the Bapuji Institute of Engineering and Technology (BIET), the summer of 2008 comes nearest to the present weather condition. The maximum temperature was 35 degree Celsius in the corresponding period that year.

As the immediate effects of the soaring temperatures, there have been reports of people suffering from sun burns and different types of allergies. Add to that power cuts that share notoriety with the hot weather. The maximum temperature was 34 degree Celsius in neighbouring Chitradurga on Tuesday.

The temperatures in Gulbarga are no less scary, except that people there are thanking their stars that the maximum temperature did not touch the danger mark of 40 degree Celsius on Monday, as predicted by the meteorological department.

The mercury has been hovering at 38 and 39 degree Celsius in the city. The minimum temperature is fluctuating between 20 and 21 degree Celsius. It is usual for people in Gulbarga to think that actual summer is still some days away if the mercury level doesn’t reach 40.

Year 2010 saw people in Gulbarga reeling under extreme weather, both of the hot and the cold kind. The mercury level reached 46.1 degree Celsius on May 18 last year, which till today is the highest for Karnataka. On December 18 last year, Gulbarga witnessed the lowest minimum temperature in nearly a century at 9.1 degree Celsius. People in the region wonder whether the so-called climate is Gulbarga-centric.

On Tuesday, Gulbarga had competition from Bellary, which recorded a maximum temperature of 37 degree Celsius. Bijapur and Raichur recorded 36 degree Celsius.

Mandya in the South interior region of the State was also sizzling with a maximum temperature of 35 degree Celsius. Chikkanahalli near Tumkur recorded 35 degree Celsius.

Dr S Manjappa, environment scientist at BIET, attributes the adverse weather condition in Davangere to the usual suspects like the increased human activity, the heat that the increasing number of buildings radiate, the growing number of industries and the smoke emitted by vehicles.

Lack of humidity, as also the lack of trees in substantial numbers in the plains region where Davangere is located, are also the causes, says Manjappa. He warns that the State is in for more difficult times as far as weather extremes are concerned, if steps are not taken to maintain the environmental equilibrium.

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