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Mercury dips as sea route clears

The mercury dipped to 14 degrees Celsius on Sunday — the season’s lowest so far — and may drop further to 13 degrees in the next couple of days.

The weatherman said the sea was clear of any atmospheric formation that could block the flow of the North Wind across south Bengal.

“If the trend continues, the minimum temperature may drop to 13 degrees Celsius in the next two says,” said a weather department official.

The city’s minimum temperature dropped to 14.3 degrees Celsius on Friday — the season’s lowest till then — but rose to 14.7 the next day. On Sunday, it dipped again to 14 degrees (see chart).

Last year, the city was going through a warm spell around the same time. The minimum temperature on December 15 was as high as 19 degrees Celsius, four notches above normal.

“The minimum did fluctuate a little recently but now we expect it to be stable at 14 degrees, a notch below normal for this time of the year, in the absence of any formation over the Bay that could trigger a surge in moisture flow into south Bengal,” said Gokul Chandra Debnath, director, India Meteorological Department, Calcutta.

Sunday morning was chilly with a hint of breeze that kept the temperature in check despite bright sunshine. “Even at 11am I was feeling quite cold in a speeding autorickshaw while fetching my son home from his cricket practice,” said Tandra Chowdhury, a resident of Salt Lake’s FE block.

Businessman P. Bose, a resident of New Alipore, said that for the first time this season on Sunday he did not feel like switching on his car AC in the afternoon.

The reason for the day-time nip was a drop in the maximum temperature by a almost a degree — 26.6 (normal for this time) from Saturday’s 27.5.

The maximum, too, is expected to “hold” for the time being. “So far this season, every time the temperature dropped there came a low-pressure area, depression or a cyclone that led to excess moisture incursion into the city air. This blocked the northerly winds that bring shivers to Calcutta,” said a senior official at IMD, Delhi.

The Celsius is plummeting across northern India and Odisha is in the grip of a cold wave, marked by a minimum temperature five degrees or more below normal.

Meteorologists believe the minimum will dive in Bengal too if the humidity keeps in check.