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Swing cuts chill slide

Joggers at Victoria Memorial around 7am on Wednesday. Picture by Sanat Kr Sinha

The forecast was 13 going on 11 but the Celsius suffered a mood swing on Wednesday.

The minimum temperature jumped .4 notches up from the previous day’s 13 degrees Celsius, though the chill run continued as the Met office had predicted. It was the coldest February 19 since 2001, like Tuesday — the coldest February 18 for over a decade. The previous low was 15.2 degrees Celsius.

The Celsius read five notches below normal in the morning and it showed at the city’s jogger destinations where woollies, jackets and jumpers jostled to work up a sweat. Predictably, people were pumped up for an 11, the coldest degree Celsius in a long time.

The reading since 2001 reveals that the minimum temperature for the second half of February has been a toasty 24 degrees.

The latest forecast says the mercury will maintain its teen run — 13-14 degrees — for the next two days before pushing towards 18 and beyond.

Weather scientists said winter returned riding the North Wind after Sunday’s rain. The dry northerly blowing from the snowed-out Himalayan states brought down the minimum relative humidity to 40 per cent on Monday.

The breeze didn’t blow at a steady pace though, as it took breaks throughout the day and gave the sun some room to raise the heat.

“No weather system is observed around Calcutta at the moment. This means, the northerly wind will flow freely and the city will continue to feel the chill,” said Gokul Chandra Debnath, the director of the India Meteorological Department, Calcutta.

“We expected an intense northerly because of the extreme cold conditions in north India. But variations in atmospheric pressure robbed the wind of its sting after it crossed Jharkhand,” he added.

That explains why Ranchi recorded a minimum of 7.4 degrees Celsius on Wednesday while Calcutta missed its tryst with 11 and had to be happy with 13.4. Kanpur on the wind’s flight path shivered at 3 degrees Celsius, the lowest minimum in the country.