The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Hailstorm in the wake of evening Nor’wester

Calcutta received its first hailshower on Thursday evening, sending home-bound commuters scurrying for cover. Hailstones with the circumference of five-rupee coins were reported from Lake Town and Moulali.

Weather officials said there were chances of a thunderstorm on Friday, too. In north and central parts of the city, a Nor’wester raged at 51 kph, accompanied by lashing rain and hailstones. However, the hailstones were not as big as the ones that rained down on south Bengal districts a few weeks ago.

Deputy director-general of the regional meteorological centre at Alipore, R.N. Goldar, said Thursday’s squall was heavier in north and central Calcutta. “The intensity of the Nor’wester was less in Alipore and the weather office recorded 12.6 mm of rain till 8.30 pm,” an official said.

Goldar said a trough of low pressure lay over central India till south Bengal, across Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. “This, along with an upper-air circulation over Jharkhand, caused Thursday’s Nor’wester. On Friday, there are chances that the sky will remain cloudy and it may rain,” he added.

Thursday was very humid in the morning. But, clouds began to develop and around 5 pm, the sky had darkened to a jet black. A strong wind began to blow.

Heavy rain fell in BBD Bag and other parts of central Calcutta from around 5.30 pm. Streaks of lightning lit the sky.

By 8 pm, many low-lying areas were waterlogged and mayor-in-council (drainage) Rajiv Deb asked his engineers to make a quick survey on whether to operate the drainage pumps.

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