A boy tries to hold on to his umbrella on a Chennai sea beach before the landfall of Cyclone Nilam. (AP)
The city that was turning off the fan at dawn two days ago was reaching for the AC remote on Wednesday.
According to the weatherman, it is likely to get warmer and stuffier in the next few days. The culprit: Cyclone Nilam, which hit the Tamil Nadu coast on Wednesday.
“I felt positively stuffy after a long time last night and had to switch on the AC after quite a few days,” said Barnali Banerjee, 35, a resident of Lake Town.
The stuffy weather persisted, causing discomfort throughout the day.
“I started perspiring when I stepped out of office for a smoke. This was not happening recently but unfortunately, good things don’t last,” rued Suvo Prasanna Chatterjee, who works at a private firm on Ganesh Chandra Avenue.
Rise in both temperature and humidity is the reason behind the discomfort.
“On Wednesday, for the first time since October 1, the maximum temperature was two degrees above normal. It was also very humid throughout the day, with the maximum climbing to 89 per cent,” said an official of the regional meteorological office at Alipore.
The maximum temperature was 33 degrees Celsius, the highest in the past 11 days.
The mercury reached 31.8 degrees Celsius at 11.30am, and did not dip below 31 the whole afternoon. At 5.30 in the evening, the temperature was 28.6 degrees Celsius.
The weather in the city was pleasant since last week because there was very little moisture in the air in the absence of a depression or cyclonic circulation that develop in the region around this time.
Cyclone Nilam changed all that. “Though the cyclone is quite a distance from Bengal, it is strong enough to cause moisture incursion here,” said a weather scientist.
The cyclone, which caused showers in south India, however, is not likely to bring rain to Calcutta, he added.
For the record, the city experienced 186mm of rain in the first fortnight of October, much more than the 157.8mm of rain that it usually gets in the entire month. But in the last 17 days of the month, it has not rained a drop.