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Dhaka Tribune

Winter Tale: When Dhaka trembled at 6.5°C three decades ago

  • Current cold snap brought 2021 record of 10°C tantalizingly close
  • BMD expressed optimism night time temperatures might slightly increase
Update : 23 Jan 2024, 10:34 PM

While Dhaka residents are currently bundled up against the unseasonably low temperatures hovering around 11-12°C, the citizens can recall the bone-chilling winter of 1995. That is when the capital recorded its all-time lowest temperature for the season: a teeth-numbing 6.5°C, a record that still stands 29 years later.

While the current cold snap brought the 2021 record of 10°C tantalizingly close, it could not topple the king of winter chills.

On Tuesday, the minimum temperature recorded in Dhaka dropped to 11°C from Monday’s 12.3°C despite the visibility of the sun in the day.

However, the Bangladesh Meteorological Department expressed optimism that night time temperatures might experience a slight increase across the nation, including Dhaka.

Dr Md Abul Kalam Mallik, a meteorologist, said: "The temperature in various parts of the country, including Dhaka, may rise tonight, potentially mitigating the cold in some areas.” 

However, he expressed concerns that temperatures might drop again from Friday.

Notably, a temperature of 8 to 10°C signifies a mild cold wave, 6 to 8°C indicates a moderate cold wave, 4 to 6°C is categorized as a severe cold wave, and anything below 4°C is considered a very severe cold wave. 

At present, a moderate cold wave is affecting seven regions, while a mild cold current is affecting the remaining areas.

When asked if this will be the last cold wave of the season or more incoming, meteorologist Abdul Mannan said: "It cannot be said for sure." 

However, according to the weather forecast, there is a possibility of another cold wave in February.

Recalling 2018 as the coldest year in recent times, Mannan explained that the reduction in the difference between maximum and minimum temperatures contributes to an increased perception of winter, even in milder conditions. “That is why it feels colder”

Dhaka's lowest recorded temperature was 9.5°C on Jan 8, 2018. On the same day, Panchagarh's Tetulia experienced the country's all-time lowest temperature at 2.6°C.

In 2023, the lowest temperature was recorded at 5.6°C at Sreemangal of Moulvibazar on January 20, while it was 9.5°C  in Chuadanga on December 16 in 2022.

Mercury dropped to 4°C in Sreemangal on January 11, 2013. One of the coldest areas in the country, the upazila had logged temperature of 2.8°C in 1964.

Overall situation

Chudanga on Tuesday morning recorded the lowest temperature of the season in Bangladesh at 6.6°C. 

On Monday, the district's temperature was recorded at 9.5°C, witnessing a rapid drop of 3°C within a single day.

At present, a moderate cold wave is sweeping over Chuadanga as well as many other parts of the country.

According to the Chuadanga Meteorological Office, the temperature in the district will fall again from Thursday and there is a chance of a drizzle during the night.

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