The Telegraph
Wednesday , July 9 , 2014
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Smart rehearsal for heavy shower

- Cloud cover pushes up Celsius

A 10-minute smart shower on Tuesday afternoon was described as dress rehearsal for a big monsoon show scheduled for Thursday.

The weather office said “the real thing” was on its way and heavy rain would lash the city by Thursday, though north Bengal could get drenched from Wednesday itself.

“There is a cyclonic circulation over north Bengal and a trough of low pressure over the state extending from Punjab to the Northeast. The pull of these two systems have made the flow of the south-westerly monsoon strong in the state and, therefore, most places in the state are receiving rain at the moment,” said Gokul Chandra Debnath, director of the India Meteorological Department in Calcutta.

The trough will come down to Gangetic Bengal by Thursday, bringing heavy rain to Calcutta and the surrounding districts.

The IMD Calcutta website says heavy rain in the city will continue for at least two days.

The sky was cloudy since morning on Tuesday and it opened up around 4.30pm. “I thought there would be heavy rain and the streets would get waterlogged like last week. Thankfully the clouds disappeared and the rain stopped,” said 27-year-old Ballygunge resident Sumita Patra, who was in an autorickshaw from Kalighat Metro station on her way home.

July, traditionally the rainiest month of the season, started off with 168mm of rainfall on the very first day. The month normally averages 399.9mm, but Calcutta has already received 234.7mm in the first eight days. On Tuesday, the Alipore Met office received 8.7mm of rain while Dum Dum got 14mm.

The cloud cover, however, could not keep the Celsius in check as the maximum temperature shot up to 34.5 degrees Celsius, three rungs above normal. “Relative humidity was in the 90 per cent range over the past couple of days. In such situations, even moderately high temperatures can take the degree of discomfort to a painful level,” said a senior Met official.

He said the mercury might show the same reading on Wednesday but thundershowers towards evening could cool things down. “The clouds are trapping the heat. A heavy downpour is the only solution to bring the Celsius down,” he added.