The Telegraph
Friday , June 20 , 2014
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Slo-mo monsoon to keep showers soft and steady

A view of the cloud-covered cityscape at 2.06pm on Thursday

The monsoon won’t turn the shower tap to full at least till the weekend but a steady sprinkle, like Thursday’s, is set to continue for the next 24 hours.

The day stayed cloudy throughout with winds blowing from the Bay taking care of the supply of moisture for the monsoon, which is set to cover the whole of the state by Thursday night. Forecasters warned that cloudy conditions would prevail for the next couple of days.

“A cyclonic circulation over the Bay of Bengal near the Odisha coast has intensified into a low-pressure area. It is sustaining the monsoon flow. Rain will now continue unabated,” said G.C. Debnath, the director of the India Meteorological Department in Calcutta.

The soggy season set in on Wednesday, over a week behind schedule, but 39mm of rain more than made up for its late arrival.

The sun was not allowed even a guest appearance on Day II of monsoon, though the heavy clouding did not translate into raindrops. The city recorded 7.1mm of rainfall till 5.30pm.

The Celsius plunged to 29.1 degrees, four notches below normal — a fall of three rungs overnight and seven marks in two days.

But again, the below-30 maximum temperature didn’t cut the sweat out completely. High humidity continued to keep the afternoons sultry. The minimum temperature was normal at 27.1 degrees Celsius.

Snapshots from Howrah bridge at 1.15pm. Hardly a few left home on Thursday without an umbrella or a raincoat. Pictures by Pradip Sanyal

The last time the day temperature had been lower than this was on May 27 when the mercury touched 27 degrees Celsius riding on a rare rainy phase this summer before the monsoon’s arrival.

The Celsius is likely to rise slowly from Friday, though the city will be under a thick cloud cover accompanied by persistent showers over the next two to three days.

“The low-pressure area will gradually move into the state and progress rapidly towards north Bengal. Heavy rainfall is expected in the coastal districts that are likely to come in the path of the shifting low pressure. Heavy rain is expected in the north while Calcutta will get moderate rainfall,” Debnath said.

The Met department said many districts were getting below-normal rainfall because of the monsoon’s late entry — the most-delayed arrival since 2007.

Hooghly, Howrah and Calcutta had received “satisfactory rain in the normal range”. The city gets around 280mm of rain in June. It has already got 165.9mm. “We were drenched by decent showers triggered by a trough of low pressure prior to the monsoon’s arrival. These helped make up the numbers,” said a Met official.