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Fresh system to lift mercury in North

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Vinson Kurian

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan. 11

A FRESH western disturbance is expected to approach Jammu & Kashmir and adjoining parts of northwest India by Sunday, which promises to lift mercury levels further up in these regions reeling under cold wave conditions.

During the 24 hours ended Wednesday morning, cold wave conditions prevailed over some parts of Jammu & Kashmir, west Rajasthan, Uttaranchal, east Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa and Gangetic West Bengal in tandem with the easterly movement of an existing westerly system.

Model predictions indicate a rise in both the day and night temperatures for the next three-four days bringing them to a par with the normal for this time of the year, said Mr J.V. Singh of the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting.

The fresh westerly system approaching Jammu & Kashmir around Sunday is expected to lead to scattered to fairly widespread snowfall over the hilly regions of northwest India and only isolated rains over the adjoining plains for the next two days.

Scattered to fairly widespread snowfall/rains is also likely over Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal while it will be isolated over Punjab and Haryana during these days.

The northwest region is likely to experience mainly dry weather with fog during the morning and evening hours over the next three-four days, especially in parts of east Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) persisted with its forecast of a significant weather event over east-central India around Sunday.

But Mr Singh ruled out any chances of a major rain event occurring in this region at this time of the year. Under the circumstances, what the flare-up shown on the ECMWF graphics could possibly point to is the development of a dense fog over the area.

Forecast by the India Meteorological Department said that ground frost was likely over some parts of Punjab, Haryana, north Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar during the next two nights as well. On Tuesday, the lowest minimum temperature of -0.8° C was recorded at Adampur (Punjab).

The NCMRWF forecast for Delhi and the National Capital Region for the next five days indicated largely foggy mornings with night temperatures seesawing from the normal to three degrees below by Monday.

Meanwhile in the south, isolated rain/thundershowers are likely over the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Lakshadweep and Kerala over the next three-four days. The ECMWF model predicted that the system could intensify around the southern tip of the country by Sunday.

This could propagate further west into east-central Arabian Sea and gain further in strength. According to the ECMWF model, the system could persist for at least a day before starting to weaken. Strong winds are likely over parts of extreme southern peninsula over Kerala and south Tamil Nadu as well as over Lakshadweep.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 12, 2006)
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