The Telegraph
Friday , February 7 , 2014
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Winter gone with the wind

The chill has gone in a trice and the chance of a comeback looks as remote as India defeating New Zealand 2-0 in the Test series.

In the span of barely 72 hours, Calcutta has graduated from the second coldest February 3 in a decade to the warmest day in almost three months.

Thursday’s day temperature was 30.9 degrees Celsius, four notches above normal and the highest since November 16. Friday could be warmer, the weather office warned.

“The direction of the wind has changed. The northwesterly wind that ferries cold to Calcutta from the Himalayas has weakened. It has been replaced by a southerly wind,” Gokul Chandra Debnath, director of the India Meteorological Department in Calcutta, told Metro.

Does that mean winter has bade a premature goodbye? “There is no possibility of the minimum temperature going anywhere below 16 degrees Celsius this season,” Debnath said.

The juice counters on Lindsay Street have already seen an increase in footfall. “I sell around 300 glasses a day during the lean season. Since Wednesday, I have sold around 500 glasses of fresh fruit juice,” vendor Pyarelal Sonkar said.

On the streets, the few Calcuttans still out in jackets and woollens swore to shed the excess baggage on Friday. “I had put on a sweater on Wednesday and stepped out wiser today,” quipped Arjun Dasgupta, 27.

But just in case winter held one last surprise for the season, a folded jacket hung from Arjun’s arm.

He possibly won’t need to carry one from Friday, at least not during the day.

“The sky will remain mostly clear for now. That means more solar radiation and a jump in temperature,” Debnath said.

If that doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable already, the southerly wind blowing from the direction of the Bay of Bengal is set to make the air unmistakably stuffy.

Met records show that the temperature swung between highs and lows more than usual throughout this season, especially in January.

December and January had days that were one degree Celsius lower than normal on an average while the minimum reading was marginally on the higher side.