A surprise shower lashed Calcutta without warning on a day fog made its season’s debut in the city and threw morning flight and train schedules haywire.
The combined effect of a high-pressure belt over the Bay and a western disturbance over Bihar and Jharkhand triggered the rain on Tuesday evening and night, the weatherman said. “The same factors will bring showers in the next one or two days.”
A trailer overturned in front of Fort William while trying to brake on a wet Kidderpore Road around 10.10pm. The steel pipes the trailer was carrying tumbled out and blocked the thoroughfare for more than two hours. “There would have been a disaster had any other vehicle been nearby,” said a police officer.
The weather formation will push the mercury up a bit. The minimum temperature had hit a low of 13.9 degrees Celsius on Thursday, only to climb up to 18.4 on Tuesday.
“There is no chance of cold returning to the city this week,” said G.C. Debnath, director, India Meteorological Department, Calcutta.
The early morning fog led to the departure of five flights from the city being delayed by 20 to 45 minutes. These were Air India’s flights to Delhi, Port Blair and Imphal, Jet Airways’s flight to Delhi and IndiGo’s flight to Bangalore.
“No flight could operate from 5.30am to 6am, when visibility dropped below 350m,” said an airport official.
Railway officials said 26 long-distance trains to and from Calcutta and Malda were delayed. Ten suburban trains in the Howdah division were delayed by 25 minutes on an average, while 17 suburban trains in the Sealdah division were delayed by about 15 minutes on an average.
The weather office predicted morning fog would develop in the next few days, too. Debnath attributed the fog to an excess of moisture in the air, coupled with cold morning and evening temperature.