Wednesday was Calcutta's coldest day of the season and it highlighted just what is wrong with the weather through a minimum temperature of four degrees above normal.
If the minimum reading of 18.8 degrees was high for the season's coldest day so far, the forecast held little comfort.
The Alipore weather office said a Western Disturbance would cause clouding over the city in the next three to four days and fill the atmosphere with water vapour, thereby reversing the flow of the chill-laden North Wind that brings and sustains winter in these parts.
The minimum temperature is tipped to rise to 20 degrees Celsius over this period, making December feel more like October or November. The trend was set on Wednesday, when the minimum reading told the story of a winter that has been held hostage by multiple factors, some of them extraneous.
The last time the city was colder than Wednesday was 17 days ago, on November 22. That day, the minimum recorded temperature was 18.9 degrees Celsius, just about a notch above normal. The minimum temperature should have dropped to around 15 degrees Celsius since then to be recorded as normal for this time of the year.
The North Wind hasn't been able to flow freely for most of this month, first because of a high-pressure belt and then the low-pressure area that triggered heavy rain and floods in Chennai.
"The flow of the North Wind had resumed on Tuesday night after the air was rid of excess moisture. This brought the hint of cold that was felt on Wednesday morning. But the flow will be obstructed again because of a Western Disturbance in north India that will shift south over the next few days," said G.C. Debnath, deputy director-general of the India Meteorological Department, Calcutta.
Clouding caused by the system is likely to extend to the city but there won't be any rainfall because of this, Debnath said.