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Chill is back, so are the woollens

A chilly gust of wind greeted Calcuttans on Christmas morning and out came the jackets.

The steady northerly wind pulled the maximum temperature down to 22.9 degrees Celsius, four notches below normal and the lowest since January 9.

Park Street saw revellers making the most of the Celsius dip, flaunting their finest woollens — from Santa caps and mufflers to blazers and high boots — which they had been forced to tuck away because of the recent warm spell.

“Thank god the chill is back and that too on Christmas. Perfect timing!” exclaimed Rudrani Dasgupta, 25, a resident of Park Street, looking smart in a woollen jacket.

Weathermen attributed Rudrani’s good luck to the scattering of a high-pressure belt that had been adding a lot of moisture to the air. “Now that system has dissipated and the north wind is blowing without any obstruction, that’s why the dip in Celsius,” said Gokul Chandra Debnath, director, India Meteorological Department, Calcutta.

The gusty wind has also triggered a slide in the day temperature, which is expected to touch 12 degrees by Friday.

Welcome news for Usri Chowdhury, 28, a California-based engineer back in the city on a short vacation. “Incredibly for this time of the year, I did not have to layer up for Midnight Mass and the parties I attended after. But the weather improved drastically from this morning. I am really glad I will be able to do justice to my favourite jacket, which I picked up for tonight’s party at a friend’s place,” said the Loreto House alumnus.

The Met office promised that the chill is here to stay, at least for the next three to four days, as there are no weather systems on the radar threatening to cut off the northerly and north-westerly winds.

“The minimum temperature has already started to drop. It fell by a steep 2.7 degrees Celsius on Wednesday to reach 15.6 degrees. A similar plunge is expected on Thursday as well,” Debnath said. The minimum is likely to touch 13 degrees on Thursday and drop a notch between Friday and Sunday.

According to meteorologists, there are usually two types of systems that bring warm spells in winter and no such system is visible at the moment.

“It is either a wind formation in the Bay of Bengal that fills the city air with moisture and impedes the flow of winds from the northern or western disturbances that cause the nights to become warmer. But since no such system exists at the moment, the forecast is for the cool spell to continue,” said a weather scientist.

A senior official of India Meteorology Department, Delhi, said snowfall in Jammu and Kasmir over the last couple of days had also cooled the winds.

Last year, Christmas was even cooler at 12.4 degrees, two notches below normal and the second-coolest December 25 in a decade.

Sohini Mazumder, 21, however, says her Christmas is made.

“I’m supposed to attend a rooftop party tonight. Roast chicken and wine in the open, with friends on a windy, chilly night…”.