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Sweat and shower

Fiery Friday and wet weekend, says the weather forecast on a day Calcutta sizzled and soaked in high heat and humidity.

The maximum temperature reached 37.5 degrees Celsius on Thursday, two notches above normal, while the discomfort index at 2.30pm rose to an excruciating 64.8 degrees — 10 degrees above the comfort level.

The weather office said Friday would be as hot and sultry or might even get worse, but a system travelling northward through Odisha could drench Calcutta with rain during the weekend.

The forecast says the mercury could touch 39 degrees Celsius on Friday and relative humidity would continue to be on the higher side too.

The city weathered heatwave conditions in rainless April until Nor’westers originating over the Chhotanagpur Plateau in Jharkhand brought smart showers the past weekend.

The Met office ruled out any Nor’wester for the next two-three days because the air over Jharkhand doesn’t have enough moisture to brew one. “Thunderstorms born in the Chhotanagpur Plateau were regularly hitting the city last week, bringing down the temperature. The plateau went dry after that and, hence, Nor’westers have stopped,” said G.C. Debnath, director of the India Meteorological Department, Calcutta.

Scientists scanning weather patterns concluded that a cyclonic circulation over Bihar that was feeding the air with moisture has shifted to Chhattisgarh. “It has subsequently weakened and Nor’westers have dried up as a consequence,” an expert said.

But Odisha holds out hope. “We have noticed a low-pressure area near the Kerala coast. Weather parameters suggest that instead of taking its normal course towards the Arabian Sea, the system would travel towards Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. If that happens, Odisha and Calcutta will get rain either on Saturday or Sunday,” Debnath said.

Experts said the low-pressure system should not run out of fuel midway since it would be travelling close to the moisture-laden Bay.