.........BHUBANESWAR: The heatwave has relented but the pre-monsoon rains have not come as heavy as predicted. The deep depression over east central Bay of Bengal triggered showers in a scattered manner bringing respite to the hot plate of the State, but it has not yet induced the heavy showers which the weather office had predicted.
On Sunday, mercury plunged below the 40 degree Celsius mark across all stations barring just four. Only Angul, Sambalpur, Bhawanipatna and Hirakud recorded above 40 degree C ending a prolonged spell of heatwave in which 12 persons have died of sunstroke so far. The unofficial death toll stands at 81.
The met office said the north-westerly wind flow caused moisture incursion and led to thunder storm activities which brought down the temperature across the State.
Balangir, one of the hottest zones, received 29 mm rain while Titlagarh, the hottest point, recorded 12 mm rain in the last 24 hours.Meanwhile, the deep depression has intensified into a cyclonic storm and will head towards Bangladesh coast before moving into north eastern States after weakening. This will trigger heavy rains over the region.
The India Meteorological Department said conditions are favourable for further advancement of the monsoon into more parts of Arabian Sea, Maldives, Comorin area, Bay of Bengal during next 24 hours.
Director of IMD, Odisha Sarat Chandra Sahu said under the influence of the system, rains are likely to occur over coastal Odisha in next 24 hours. After that, northern pockets will receive showers.
However, the strengthening of westerlies will help advance the monsoon and its arrival over Kerala and parts of northeastern States around May 30 and 31.
Sahu said more rains will return to the State during the first week of June when a system forms off Arabian Sea which will advance the monsoon and trigger showers. This is expected around June 3-4.