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Dhaka Tribune

Capital experiences highest temperature in 54 years

Update : 24 Apr 2014, 08:36 PM

Dhaka city yesterday experienced the highest temperature in 54 years as mercury reached 40.2 degrees Celsius. The country’s highest temperature was recorded 42.4 degrees Celsius in Jessore.

The previous highest temperature in the capital was recorded 42.3 degrees on April 30, 1960, according to Bangladesh Meteorological Department. The highest temperature on April 24 last year in Dhaka was 34.2 degrees.

Met Office Director Shah Alam told the Dhaka Tribune that the current heat wave was likely to continue for a few more days, with the temperature reaching up to 43 degrees since there was little possibility of rainfall. “But that should not go beyond April 27,” he said.

On the causes for no rainfall, the official said the Westerly wind which causes rainfall at this time of year was yet to be active.

Shah Alam said the average April rainfall in Dhaka division was 127mm but it had experienced only 39mm rainfall as of yesterday – with no rainfall at all in Dhaka city since April 8.

Climate change experts consider this extreme weather to be a result of changing patterns in world climate.

“Such kind of abnormal attitude of weather is a clear indication of changing patterns of climate,” said Ahsan Uddin Ahmed, executive director of the Centre for Global Changes, adding that usually normal rainfall was expected at this time.

In addition to irregular rainfall and rise in temperature, the frequency of depression in the Bay of Bengal also rose in the last decade, he told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday.

Referring to the flood in Germany and Pakistan, Ahsan said the whole world had been experiencing this abnormal attitude of weather.

The searing subtropical heat started last month and has affected the whole country, causing heat-related illness and prompting people to get admitted to hospitals.

A record number of 786 patients had been admitted to the ICDDRB in the last 24 hours and about 60% of them were infants suffering from water-borne diarrhoeal diseases, said ICDDRB’s Chief Physician Sunil Kumar Bardhan yesterday evening.

Physicians suggest that people should drink plenty of fluids and remain cautious while taking food to prevent heat-related illness. They also suggest avoiding being in the sun and using protection such as sunglasses, umbrella and cap while going out in daytime.

The highest temperature in the country in the past 10 years was recorded 43.2 degrees Celsius in Jessore in 2009; however, the highest temperature recorded in the country’s history was 45.1 degrees on May 18, 1972.

Despite Dhaka’s comparatively lower temperature, it feels much hotter than in other areas of the country, which the meteorologists attribute to the capital’s high population density, fewer plantation and a large number of concrete structures that contain the heat.

Many people are seen buying seasonal fruits – green coconut and watermelon – although affording them goes beyond the ability of poor people as the prices go soaring along with the temperature. 

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