The Victoria Memorial is reflected on a large puddle on the Maidan at 2.11pm on Monday. Pictures by Anup Bhattacharya
Monday was the coolest day in two months as the maximum and minimum temperatures plunged four notches below normal on the back of three consecutive days of rain and thundershower.
The maximum temperature dived to 31 degrees Celsius on Monday, the coolest since March 7 when the city recorded 30.4 degrees. The minimum fell to 21.7 degrees Celsius and Calcuttans experienced such pleasant night weather way back on March 26.
The forecast says the maximum temperature may rise a little on Tuesday and settle around 33 degrees Celsius but the overall conditions will remain pleasant with a wind blowing from the south. The possibility of a light thundershower is not ruled out either.
The normal average maximum temperature for May is 35.3 degrees Celsius but Monday’s reading is close to February and March figures — that is 29.1 and 33.5 degrees Celsius respectively.
The weather felt cooler than it actually was because the city has weathered scorching heatwave conditions between April 22 and 26 when the mercury hovered above 40 degrees Celsius.
The weather office said there was a possibility of thunderclouds developing on Tuesday and Wednesday. But the clouding wouldn’t be strong enough to bring about squalls of the magnitude that the city had experienced over the weekend, it added.
The weekend storms saw winds blowing at 50kmph. The total rainfall was 24.1mm in three days after the driest April in almost three decades.
“Two weather systems were causing moisture incursion in Gangetic Bengal and its neighbouring areas since Friday. One of them, a high-pressure belt in the Bay of Bengal, is still active. But the other, a cyclonic circulation over central parts of the state, has moved to Assam and north Bengal,” said Gokul Chandra Debnath, director of the India Meteorological Department in Calcutta.
The moisture inflow will dip because of the shifting of the second weather system.
Weather scientists said the thunderstorms of the weekend qualify as Nor’westers because they originated in the Chhotanagpur Plateau and had wind speeds above 45kmph.
“Chhotanagpur Plateau is likely to retain heat and humidity over the next two days. These storms move east as a rule but need moisture on the path. The shifting of the cyclonic circulation will deprive the incoming storms from Chhotanagpur Plateau of the fuel they require for a good shower in Calcutta,” he said.
Like most Calcuttans, Arijit Banerjee of Ultadanga is giving the AC and the fan some rest. “A cool wind is making the weather pleasant. One feels like pulling on a rug even with the AC off at night,” the 35-year-old said.