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Staff Reporter 
Rtnn: Bangladesh will be facing a challenging weather scenario as meteorologists predict heavy rainfall coupled with an intensified cold in the coming days.

Meteorologist Mostofa Kamal Palash, a PhD researcher specialising in meteorology and climate at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada, warns of a possibility of 50 to 100mm of rainfall over Bangladesh on 18 and 19 January, with higher amounts expected in the districts of Khulna, Barishal, and Dhaka divisions. 

This forecast comes amid already chilly conditions that set in on Thursday night and are predicted to persist for another week.

In a social media post yesterday, Mostofa said, "European and American weather forecast models are indicating the possibility of 50 to 100mm of rainfall over Bangladesh and West Bengal, India, on 18 and 19 January due to the influence of a strong western depression."

However, the American Global Forecast System model suggests a slightly lower range of 20 to 40mm of rain. Mostofa reassured that all major weather forecast models worldwide are aligning on the possibility of rain during this period. A clearer picture of specific rainfall amounts in different districts will be available by 15 January.

Adding to the complexity, Mostofa warns that the cold conditions are anticipated to intensify after the rain. Dense fog is also on the horizon, potentially to cover the entire country for a week. 

This comes as an additional challenge to the already existing cold wave affecting several districts, including Kishoreganj, Pabna, Dinajpur, and Chuadanga, according to the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD).

Specific advisories have been issued for various sectors in preparation for the anticipated weather conditions. 

Potato farmers are urged to avoid irrigation after 15 January and focus on drainage management. Watermelon farmers are similarly advised to prioritise drainage, and brick kiln owners are encouraged to take steps to protect raw bricks before the rain arrives.

The Met Office has confirmed the ongoing cold spell, with the highest temperature recorded yesterday at 27.3 degrees Celsius in Teknaf and the lowest joint minimum of 9.6 degrees Celsius observed in Chuadanga and Nikli, Kishoreganj.

Assistant Meteorologist Afroza Sultana of BMD warns of moderate to dense fog across the country, potentially disrupting air traffic, inland water transport, and road communication for temporary periods.

Mostofa, analysing satellite imagery, anticipates potential increases in fog cover over the northeastern divisions, while gradual dissipation is expected in the southwestern parts of the country. 

By the end of the week, some districts in Rangpur and Rajshahi divisions could witness temperatures between 8 and 10 degrees Celsius at 6am, heightening the cold conditions across the nation.