BD set to see shorter, warmer winter again: Experts
As winter getting gradually warmer in Bangladesh for nearly a decade, meteorologists and climate experts say this winter will be even much warmer and shorter than previous years as the mercury is not falling as expected.
According to statistics provided by Bangladesh Metrological Department (BMD), the people of Bangladesh are experiencing less cold this winter which set in a bit early in December. The temperature is higher than it was in previous years during this month.
Besides, the Met office said, the length of this winter is likely to be shorter as it may end in early February when days swill start getting longer.
According to a recent report released by Global Climate Risk Index 2019, Bangladesh is the seventh most affected country in the world due to "extreme weather events" over the last 20 years from 1998 -2017.
The report also said 407 people died in Bangladesh in 2017 due to extreme weather-related events while the country suffered an economic loss of about USD 2,826.68 million during the period.
Bazlur Rashid, a meteorologist at Bangladesh Meteorology Department, said Bangladesh has been experiencing relatively warmer winter for a decade with the gradual fall in cold intensity while the country's overall temperature has increased around 1.2°C during the period.
"There's no exception in this winter as well. People are experiencing less cold as the mercury is not falling to that level what it should be this time. The average temperature is 1-2°C higher than the previous years. The lowest temperature was recorded 9.5°C ("today (Sunday) at Pannchaganr's Tentulia while the highest 18°C in Dhaka. The lowest temperature on this day last year was 8.9°C at Tentulia while 17°C in Dhaka," he said.
The meteorologist said the temperature may fall substantially next week when one or two light or mild cold waves are likely to sweep the country.
He said mercury is likely to drop as low as 6 degrees Celsius in northwestern regions, including Rangpur, Rajshahi and Khulna divisions. "But, Dhaka's temperature is unlikely to fall significantly during the cold wave as it won't drop below 12 to 13 degrees Celsius."
Bazlur said people in the country's northwestern and southern regions, especially the Rangpur Division, are now feeling cold due to light rain or drizzle that occurred over the last couple of days.
Stating that January is supposed to be the coldest month in Bangladesh, he said the mercury to fall next month with one or two severe cold waves sweeping the country, but it may not come down to the expected level. "The average temperature should remain about 10-12 degrees Celsius during January, but it may not drop below 15°C."
Bazlur also said the winter season should persist till the last week of February, but this time it may end in early February when days will start getting bigger than nights.
Eminent climate expert Dr Atiq Rahman said one degree Celsius average temperature has increased in Bangladesh due to climate change while half degree Celsius for other reasons, including pollution and industrialisation.
He said the average global temperature has increased 0.96 degree Celsius and it has continued to rise. "So, there's no doubt that Bangladesh is experiencing warmer winter with the rise in its temperature."
Dr Atiq, executive director of the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies, said people in Dhaka and other cities have been experiencing much higher temperature than other areas for a huge number of buildings and concrete roads and pavements which retain the heats for six to 8 hours after sunset. -UNB