Monday, June 25, 2007

High winds sweep through city, add to damage

High winds sweep through city, add to damage

Bangalore on Saturday recorded windspeeds of 90 kmph. In contrast, windspeeds in June were 13.6 kmph.
Heavy wind coupled with scattered rain — that was Bangalore’s weather in the 1960-70s. Weather experts point out that the weather prevailing over Bangalore from the last two weeks is similar to that of Bangalore several decades ago.
On Saturday, the Automatic Weather Station (AWS) at Gandhi Krishi Vigyan Kendra recorded highest windspeed of 90 kmph. The meteorological department on Palace Road recorded a top speed of 57 kmph and the Airport Office noted the highest speed of 60 kmph.
The international website on weather — — recorded the highest wind speed of 65 kmph in Bangalore. On an average, mean windspeed in Bangalore during June is 13.6 kmph. Among all the atmospheric parameters, variation in windspeed plays a vital role as it can fast alter atmospheric conditions.
What Bangalore went through on Saturday was also due to consequence of increased windspeed and weather experts term it as a “abrupt development,’’ which is expected to bring down rainfall and further bring down the temperature. On Saturday, Bangalore recorded the lowest temperature of 20o C along with high windspeed.
“There is a marginal drop in Bangalore’s temperature since Friday night as clouds over the eastern coast were cleared after a brief precipitation. This created a pressure gradient on the east coast and clouds prevailing on the west coast were pulled, due to which windspeed increased from Friday evening. Windspeed anywhere above 60-70 kmph can cause immense damage to old houses, trees, electric poles and standing crops,’’ explains M B Rajegowda, head of department of Agrometeorology department in GKVK.
Weather experts suggest natural calamities can be avoided to some extent by releasing advance weather forecasts. “The automatic weather station monitors parameters every 30 seconds. The data is sent to the Space Application Centre in Ahmedabad through Insat satellites. We also utilise the services of Dundee satellite of the UK for satellite pictures, updated every 20 minutes, and medium-range weather forecast station in New Delhi,’’ he said.
Predicting weather forecast, especially in Bangalore, is expected to be more accurate in the future with 50 new AWSs being set up in the state. Health caution: Stay warm
Several hospitals and health clinics in the city reported a sharp increase in viral fevers. With no central registry, there is no way of ascertaining the exact numbers but doctors report at least 35 per cent increase in the number of viral infections (fevers) and a few cases of diarrhoea. Besides viral infections, doctors say, Hepatitis A and typhoid are on the rise.
A viral infection starts with a sore throat, mild cold and cough. It then leads to fever accompanied by fatigue and lasts for at least three days. The symptoms, typical of viral fever, have been doing the rounds in the city.
“Patients are from all age groups. They come with elevated body temperature and body ache. In most cases it’s a viral fever,’’ says consultant physician Dr Ramana Rao.
Viral fever is a condition where a virus causes problems such as an elevation in body temperature, cold, shivering, fatigue, vomiting, nausea and body ache. Many paediatricians find an increased number of children are affected by it.
Most of these fevers are not dangerous and are self-limiting. Yet some can progress, rapidly leading to death. The virus can spread easily through the air, sometimes despite adequate protection.


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