Downpour Causes Traffic Snarls In Kolkata, Pulls Down Mercury Level

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Kolkata:  Rains lashed Kolkata for the second consecutive day on Thursday a day after the city witnessed season’s first thundershower that lasted for a couple of hours . Today’s rain pulls down the mercury level by several snatches.

Vast stretches of the city were left inundated affecting the traffic badly. In central parts of Kolkata, traffic was reportedly in a mess on Thursday.

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Though many office-goers and home-bound school kids got stuck in the downpour on Wednesday, those who were indoors didn’t complain. Sharp showers pulled the mercury down, from 27°C from 33.7°C. There’s more good news in store. Wednesday’s rain could be only the beginning to a wet week. The Met office has predicted more rain. Two cyclonic circulations hovering above neighboring Bangladesh and Jharkhand are likely to bring more thundershowers.

We expect more rain on the next three days due to thunder cloud formation. The intensity, however, could be lesser,” said Sanjib Bandyopadhyay, deputy director (general meteorology) at the Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC), Kolkata.

For the past few days, two opposing wind systems have been acting as a catalyst for thunder cloud formation. The warm southerly wind has been blowing in moisture continuously into the land. It clashed with the cold and dry northerly wind, leading to the formation of massive cloud columns that came pouring down on Wednesday.

Though the season for thundershowers starts in March, this kind of prolonged rain so early is a bit rare,” said GC Debnath, director of the Aviation Meteorological Service, Kolkata.

While thundershower are normally of short spell, Wednesday’s downpour lasted for almost two hours since the cloud column was massive, extending from Jharkhand to Bengal. With a depth of around 5-6km, the cloud is travelling at a slow pace.

“The wind speed is very slow compared to the cloud volume. Therefore, it is traveling at a very slow pace. Moreover, most of the energy is converted into rain in the absence of thunder, lightning and strong wind. This explains the intensity of the shower,” said GK Das, director (weather) at RMC Kolkata.

While the downpour was wide spread, the intensity was more in southern parts of Kolkata. It left pockets like Jodhpur Park, Southern Avenue, Kalighat and Mominmore waterlogged. The KMC drainage pumping stations swung into action to counter the situation. Water accumulated at various parts of Salt Lake as well. “I had to visit an office in Salt Lake Sector V. The rain caught me unawares. When I walked out of the office, I found the road under water. I had to wade through ankle-deep water to reach my car,” said Anand Mehta, an entrepreneur.