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Wind that trumpets winter is back

- Pray to keep low-pressure area at bay
PLAY IT COOL: “Usually we take a swim before a concert but this time we don’t have time for it and also it is pretty cool now, somewhat chilly,” said Yuri Honing with a laugh minutes before his Yuri Honing Wired Paradise took the stage on Sunday for Congo Square JazzFest 2013, in association with t2, at Dalhousie Institute. They were followed by the final act of Jazzfest 2013 — George Brooks Summit — on a pleasant pre-winter evening on the packed DI lawns. Picture by Rashbehari Das

Calcutta’s winter will start this week if yet another low-pressure formation brewing over south Bay of Bengal does not come in the way of the north wind.

The Celsius dropped by two degrees on Sunday and the minimum temperature is expected to hit 16 by Wednesday, the Met office said.

For winter to be officially declared, the temperature must stay at 16 or drop further for at least three consecutive days along with minimum relative humidity below 40 per cent. Calcutta generally meets these conditions in the first week of December.

If the low-pressure area does not travel north beyond south Andhra Pradesh, the northerly and northwesterly winds that heralds winter in Calcutta will continue to blow freely for a sustained cool phase.

Met officials said the north wind was poised to pick up pace from Monday along with a drop in relative humidity to drag the minimum temperature down to 16 degrees Celsius by Wednesday.

The trough that had formed under the influence of Cyclone Lehar dissipated on Sunday, resulting in lower moisture incursion. The minimum temperature immediately dropped from 20.5 degrees, four notches above normal, on Friday and Saturday to 18.8 on Sunday.

“The weather has been topsy-turvy lately. It had got really cold and we thought winter had arrived early this year, but it was quite warm the last few days,” said Ananya Roy, a 34-year-old homemaker from New Alipore.

A comparison with the same time period (November 29 to December 1) last year shows that the minimum reading this year has been unusually high. Last year, the average minimum temperature during that period was 14.2 degrees Celsius. This year’s was 19.9 degrees Celsius.

Weather scientists do not discount the possibility of the Celsius shooting up again post-Thursday because of the low-pressure area over the bay.

While meteorological calculations suggest that this new system is unlikely to gain in strength while at sea, the effect it will have on Calcutta’s weather would depend on its trajectory and where it makes landfall.

“If it comes too close to the city, the water vapour it pulls from the sea towards itself will intrude the city air and obstruct the wind flow,” a Met official said.