The city was back to being a sultry siren on Tuesday as a soaring discomfort index left everyone in a sweat.
The discomfort index, which is a measure of the effect of heat and humidity on the human body, read 58.8 per cent as early as 8.30am and hovered above 60 per cent, six degrees Celsius more than the comfort level, at 5.30pm.
“The sun was beating down hard when I left for office in the morning and it had not cooled down even when I stepped out again for a meeting at 4pm,” said Payal Mishra, 27, an employee of Salt Lake Sector V.
The maximum temperature, which had been around 33 degrees Celsius over the weekend, climbed to 34.9 degrees on Monday and further up to 35.7 degrees, four degrees above normal, on Tuesday. This is the hottest Calcutta has been since August 26.
Weather readings at different times of the day showed that the temperature on Tuesday stayed around 35 degrees, which along with a relative humidity of 60 per cent, made it stifling.
The discomfort index read 63.8 per cent, the highest for the day and nine degrees above the comfort level, at 11.30am.
“There has been no weather system for the last couple of days, which explains both the rise in temperature and the absence of rain,” said G.K. Das, a senior meteorologist at IMD, Calcutta.
But the weather office predicted some relief. “A cyclonic circulation has formed over the north-west Bay of Bengal, which should lead to clouding from Wednesday morning. Light to moderate rain is likely in the city,” Das said
The maximum temperature is likely to drop to 34 degrees on Wednesday and a notch each on Thursday and Friday.
“This month saw some heavy rainfall in two phases in the second and third weeks. So, even after a dry spell, the aggregate rainfall so far has a surplus of 8.4 per cent,” said a senior official.
Another wet spell is expected before the end of the month but no heavy rainfall is likely from the cyclonic circulation that has formed in the north-west Bay.