Kolkata: The hottest day of the year recorded on Friday in Kolkata after monsoon arrived in the city. The maximum temperature soaring to 40°C four days after monsoon settle in. Scorching westerly winds from the northern states of Delhi, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh left the city singed even as monsoon currents remain stalled.
June’s first fortnight has been considerably warmer than the corresponding period in May, the peak summer month. It is a significant departure from the usual weather pattern of the region, said meteorologists. Kolkata has not recorded its warmest day of the year after the onset of monsoon in at least a decade, they said.
As per TOI explaining the unusual ‘post-monsoon summer’, weathermen said that since rains were yet to reach the neighbouring states or north India, scorching westerly winds were blowing in from these regions. Monsoon usually reaches Bihar and Jharkhand within five days of moving into Kolkata. But with the monsoon currents getting stalled, they remain dry.
“Summer persists across north and east India from where the warm winds are flowing in. Till the monsoon currents move or a system develops in the region, it will remain warm. At present, there is no chance of either happening. So, the weekend will remain hot and the mercury could continue to hover around the 40°C mark,” said Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC) director G K Das. The maximum relative humidity was 82% on Friday.
Between June 5 and 7 in 2012, Kolkata had recorded 40.2°C, 40.1°C and 40°C. On June 12, 2016, Kolkata had clocked a maximum temperature of 40°C. But on both occasions, monsoon was yet to set in. “It is not unusual for the mercury to touch 40°C in June. This is because north India remains warm and scorching winds continue to blow into the state. But once monsoon hits the east, rains cut off the westerly wind flow. This time, even though monsoon has arrived, the currents have turned so weak and inactive that they can’t block the scorching winds,” explained Das.
The first fortnight of May, however, remained considerably cooler than the corresponding period of June. It should have been the reverse. Maximum temperature remained below 35°C on nine days between May 1 and 15. In June, the mercury crossed 35°C on 12 days during the first fortnight. While the highest temperature recorded in May was 35.4°C, this month the mercury reached that mark on Thursday. “It is set to remain above 37°C during the next 48 hours,” said Das.
Friday’s heat felt like north Indian summer. With humidity remaining low, Kolkatans didn’t sweat. “But the wind was dry and scorching. I felt a burning sensation on my skin,” said Debjani Ghoshal, a south Kolkata resident who had ventured out in the afternoon for shopping.
According to a private weather forecasting site, Friday’s RealFeel temperature, which depends on factors like humidity, wind flow, intensity of sunrays, altitude and cloud cover, touched 46°C.