A cold wave that had most of northern Karnataka under its grip has abated for now, but it will not be long before these districts see another precipitous dip in temperatures, according to the meteorological centre here.

On Monday, most parts of the State recorded temperatures lower than the “normal” minimum and Belgaum was the coldest at 8.8 degrees Celsius. However, for a cold wave to be officially declared over a region, at least 50 per cent of the weather stations need to record temperatures below 10 degrees Celsius, said B. Puttanna, Met centre director.

Last week, temperatures across most of north Karnataka dropped to single digits, with Belgaum recording a minimum of 6 degrees Celsius last Wednesday. But it would not be long before the wind direction changes from an easterly to a northerly one and for the temperature to dip again, Mr. Puttanna said. “This time the cold wave is likely to be even more severe than the one we experienced last week,” he added.

These weather conditions, including cold waves, are typical of winter every year, Mr. Puttanna said. Another distinctive weather feature for this time of year is the extreme gap between maximum and minimum temperatures. In Bangalore for instance, the difference between the maximum (30 degrees Celsius) and minimum (14 degrees Celsius) was a huge 16 degrees.

With skies that are totally devoid of cloud cover, and very little atmospheric moisture to buffer radiation, earth’s surface heats up is much faster during the day, and loses heat equally fast at night, Mr. Puttanna said.

Below normal

In Bangalore, the minimum temperature was four to six degrees Celsius below normal on Monday, according to the weather bulletin. The city saw its year’s coldest day on Monday as the minimum temperature dipped to just 13 degrees Celsius in the early morning.

This is likely to dip even further over the next weeks, said Mr. Puttanna. In 2007, the city recorded a minimum of just 11 degrees Celsius, the coldest this decade.

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