The Telegraph
Thursday , December 13 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Highest December rain in a decade

Calcutta had its wettest 24 hours of December in a decade between Tuesday and Wednesday evening, logging 34.2mm of rain to surpass the aggregates for the entire month since 2002.

The fringes of the city, especially those in the south, reported more rainfall than was recorded at Alipore. Diamond Harbour received 90mm of rain in 24 hours from 5.30pm on Tuesday.

“Usually, it hardly ever rains in Calcutta. But there were two wind formations, because of which a lot of moisture was being drawn inland. That is what led to the formation of clouds and the rain,” said Gokul Chandra Debnath, the director of the regional meteorological centre in Alipore.

The twin triggers for the wet spell were a high-pressure belt over the Bay that was causing incursion of moisture and a western disturbance (a low-pressure area) fast approaching Bengal.

Weather experts said the two systems complemented each other and aided the formation of heavy, rain-bearing clouds, which is unusual for this time of the year.

Most Calcuttans didn’t seem to mind the rain, although the cloud cover caused the Celsius to rise a bit rather than drop. “It was lovely to hear the rain late into the night. The weather cooled down later. I woke up early to find it still raining. That’s when I realised it hadn’t stopped, much like rainy days during monsoon,” said Ranita Basu, a schoolteacher.

But golfers in the city had to contend with a slower-than-usual surface during their morning round. “The greens are fine and in good shape but they are slightly slower because of more moisture on them,” said Tim Denham, golf course superintendent at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC).

The RCGC course had to be closed for maintenance for an hour on Wednesday morning.

At Tollygunge Club, 15-year-old golfer Aditi Ashok found the course a bit rough. “If the rain continues, it’s going to present challenging conditions,” said Aditi, competing in the Usha All India Amateur Golf Championship.

More rain is unlikely as one of the systems that caused it has moved away, Met official Debnath said. He sounded a fog alert for the city from Thursday, which is bad news for fliers ahead of the holiday season.