The drop in chill that ushered in the New Year’s Day is likely to continue for at least the rest of the week with the Met office hinting that the mercury would hover a few notches above normal during the period.
The sun in Calcutta was stronger on Monday than it has been for the past fortnight. The maximum temperature shot up to 26.7 degrees Celsius, two notches above normal and the highest since December 16. The minimum was normal at 13.
“Last week I had to wear a full-sleeve sweater even during the day. But this morning I felt uncomfortable wearing one on my way to office,” said Kankurgachhi resident Raktim Maitra, who works in Salt Lake Sector V.
Satellite pictures show two weather systems that are pushing the temperature up in the city.
“A high-pressure belt over the Bay of Bengal near the Bengal-Odisha coast has strengthened the flow of moisture from the sea to the atmosphere over Calcutta and other places in south Bengal. The moisture will block the northerly and north-westerly winds that were responsible for the chill around Christmas. As a result both the minimum and the maximum temperatures are likely to stay above normal this week,” said Gokul Chandra Debnath, the director of the regional meteorology office at Alipore.
“The increased moisture content will also cause mist. And once the mist clears, it can get a little uncomfortable and muggy as the relative humidity would be on the higher side throughout the day,” warned a weather scientist.
The high-pressure belt, however, is not the only deterrent to cold in Calcutta. There is also a secondary western disturbance, the fallout of one over Jammu and that has disintegrated, near Uttarakhand.
“Satellite pictures also show the formation of another western disturbance over Jammu and Kashmir. Thus, the flow of the northerly and northwesterly winds would be impeded even after the high-pressure zone weakens in a day or two,” said an official of the meteorology department.
Certain areas in the western districts of the state — such as Purulia, Bankura, Burdwan, West Midnapore and Birbhum — are likely to receive rain.
According to weather scientists, however, a relatively warm opening week of January does not rule out the possibility of the chill returning with a vengeance in the later part of the month, usually the coldest for the city.
The last month was one of extreme fluctuations — from cold in the first 10 days to a relatively warm spell in the next 10 days and finally a period of intense cold.
The mean minimum and maximum temperatures in December 2012 were 14.6 and 25.5 degrees Celsius, both lowest since 2003.