The Telegraph
Wednesday , June 19 , 2013
CIMA Gallary

Rain high and dry

Kids play on their way home after school on Tuesday. Picture by Sayantan Ghosh

Monsoon teased Calcutta on Tuesday afternoon, pouring a knee-deep deluge in the northern and eastern areas while leaving the south and west almost dry.

Roads at Thanthania Kali-bari, Sovabazar, parts of CR Avenue and Girish Park were submerged after the rain between 1.10pm and 2pm. Heavy showers were reported from Rajarhat and Salt Lake too.

The Alipore weather office in south Calcutta, however, received just 2mm of rainfall and the Dum Dum office didn’t record a drop.

According to Calcutta Municipal Corporation figures collected from its pumping stations, 72mm of rain fell on Belgachia between 12.30pm and 1.30 pm while Birpara — a stroll away from Dum Dum — got 62mm. The average for the rest of north Calcutta was 30mm.

“Strange, isn’t it? It was hot and damp in the morning, rainy and cool in the afternoon and back to being muggy and hot in the evening,” said Mrityunjoy Chowdhury of Birati, who was in Esplanade when the skies opened up.

The weather office attributed the localised or scattered rain to a weak wind system that couldn’t evenly distribute the moisture-laden clouds across the city. “Scattered and localised rain happens when the monsoon winds weaken. A gusty wind is needed for widespread rain and this can happen only when there is a strong weather system in the vicinity pulling moisture from the sea,” said a senior official at the Met office in Alipore.

He warned that Tuesday’s rain was a teaser and there might not be any in the next couple of days because no system was currently developing over the Bay of Bengal to bring rainfall to the city — localised or otherwise.

This means sultry, sunny conditions over the next few days. The Celsius is set to rise and so will the discomfort level.

Tuesday’s temperature rose from 32.2 degrees Celsius at 8.30am to 34.6 at 11.30am, fell sharply to 28.6 degrees at 2.30pm because of the rain, and jumped to 32.6 at 5.30pm.

If the high relative humidity is factored in, the discomfort index at 11.30pm was 64.4 degrees Celsius, almost 10 degrees above the comfort level. It came down to the normal range of 56 degrees at 2.30pm but soared back to 63.2 degrees at 5.30pm.