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23 May, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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La Nina blamed for unusual weather in May

Shehab Ahmed

Rain and thundershowers instead of heat waves! What is wrong with the weather in May, and how long will this continue? This is a typical question Abul Kalam Mallick, a meteorologist at the Dhaka Met Office, is having to face every day from his friends, family and reporters. His answer was simple yesterday (Tuesday): This unusual pre-monsoon weather will last another couple or three more days.

In Dhaka, the rain would slow down a little from Friday -- drizzles and light showers are likely. But it would slow down elsewhere in the country gradually, Mallick said.

He was concerned that there was no heat wave, as is normal at this time of the year. The mercury rose only to 37.4 degrees Celsius at Khulna and Satkhira on May 15. On March 15, Jessore recorded 36.8C. On April 17, temperatures rose to 37.2C in Satkhira and Khulna, but did not persist.

He says it was deviation that the heat did not continue.

It was all rain and thundershowers, with bolts of lightning striking people harvesting paddy at isolated "haors" (wetlands) and even in the  urban areas.

The rainfall recorded was 9,341mm till yesterday,15.9 per cent above normal average at this time of the year, Mallick said.

But it was almost perched and bone-dry in Rangpur, which had  35.2 per cent less than average rainfall.

It is because of global warming that temperatures are rising across the world, the weather watcher agreed with the concern

expressed by another expert, Dr Ainun Nishat.  Nishat told the media on Monday that the rain was due to a global weather pattern called La Nina, that means “weeping girl”. It is characterised by a “wet season”. This comes after the El Nino system, or “naughty boy” in Spanish. These two patterns influence the global weather on Pacific Ocean currents near the coast of Peru, that eventually finds their way to the Indian Ocean which influences the weather  in Asia. The rain by contrast was more in the Sylhet region than in Rangpur, Mallick noted. It was mainly due to the westerly low stretching its trough to the north Bay, generating rain in an uneven pattern over Bangladesh from the central region to the north-east and south-west.

This situation had its effect on fasting people feeling a little comfort from the cooling effects of the rain and winds. But the rain and the cool weather at night made all the difference for farmers harvesting rice and losing it due to the blast disease, reports from the north said.   

Mallick said a westerly low has been hovering over Bihar and Gangetic West Bengal, drawing warm, moisture-rich air from the southerly winds to its core of cool air to generate rain.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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