Calcutta has received in just the past three days nearly twice the amount of rainfall recorded in the first fortnight of August.
The 24-hour rain count till 5.30pm on Thursday was 47.7mm, sandwiched between Tuesday’s 38.3mm and Wednesday’s 85.9mm. The total rainfall in these three days was 171.9mm, against 96.7mm in the first 15 days of August.
The spells of heavy rain since Tuesday may have eased after 2pm on Thursday but three days of wet weather brought the maximum temperature on Thursday further down to 26.1 degrees Celsius, six notches below normal.
“It’s been pouring intermittently for three consecutive days, which hadn’t happened all season. Just when I had given up on this year’s monsoon, it surprised me,” said 32-year-old techie Samarpan Chakraborty, a resident of Vivekananda Road in north Calcutta.
The second half of last month had seen substantial rain — 173.5mm — but even that was just 1.6mm more than the three-day tally since last Tuesday.
“It’s quite remarkable, the way the monsoon seems to have cut loose in the slog overs. In just three days of rainfall, the deficit for the city and most south Bengal districts has been drastically reduced,” said Gokul Chandra Debnath, the director of the Regional Meteorological Centre in Alipore.
He attributed the rainfall to a low-pressure belt over central India and the active monsoon trough passing through south Bengal.
“At the end of this week, we will calculate the impact of this week’s rainfall on the deficit. Such a turnaround with just a month or so left of the season is quite extraordinary,” Debnath said.
But according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the wet spell is unlikely to continue. “The rainfall in Calcutta was expected to reduce in intensity by Thursday afternoon and that has already happened. Over the next couple of days, the city will receive rain but it won’t be much,” an IMD scientist said.
Sunday might bring about a turnaround, though. Met officials see the possibility of a low-pressure system forming in the vicinity of south Bengal.
The long-period average for September is 312.6mm of rain in around 14 rainy days.