Year 2010 witnessed the hottest April in Orissa so far. With temperature rising consistently, the state's western parts have become one of the hottest zones in the country.
From April 1 this year, western Orissa centres like Jharsuguda, Talcher, Angul, Sambalpur, Titlagarh, Balangir and Sundergarh have consistently recorded maximum temperature of more than 40 degree Celsius, with highest temperature in each of the centre crossing 45 degree Celsius. The western Orissa coal belt of Talcher recorded 46.2 degree Celsius.
"A strong westerly and north westerly wind carrying hot air from northwest and an absence of any weather system like cyclonic circulation or aniti-cyclonic circulation has resulted in the intense heat," said Dr. S.C. Sahoo, director, Indian Meteorological Department, Bhubaneswar.
What is alarming is that the number of days recording more than 40 degree Celsius is on the increase over the past five years, meteorological department data suggest.
For instance, the industrial town of Jharsuguda had a peak temperature of 43.2 degree Celsius in April 2006, with 16 days recording more than 40 degree Celsiuus. In 2007, while the peak temperature remained the same, 19 days in April recorded above 40 degree Celsius. In 2008, the peak temperature rose to 43.4 and number of days above 40 degree Celsius to 19 days. In 2009, the peak temperature of the month was 45.7 degree while number of days with more than 40-degree rose to 24 days. This year, since April 1, the town has recorded more than 40 degree every day, with the peak temperature so far at 45 degree Celsius.
Other western Orissa centres like Sambalpur, Sundergarh, Balangir, Titlagarh, Angul and Talcher have followed similar paterns.
Even Bhubaneswar has become hotter over the years. The city had just one day in 2008 crossing the 40 degree Celsius mark. In 2009, it became nine days. This year, the city has already recorded more than 40 degree on eight days out of the last 17 days.