The city has been reeling from the twin assault of heat and humidity and there is little respite in sight.
The maximum temperature recorded at Alipore on Saturday was 36.3 degree
Celsius, a notch over normal. The minimum relative humidity was well over 50 per cent.
A Met official said there was “a 20 per cent chance” of thundershowers in Kolkata on Sunday. “But any respite from heat will be temporary. The next day will be back to being hot and humid,” he said.
G.K. Das, the director of IMD Calcutta, blamed the dry phase to the absence of thunderclouds over Jharkhand and Bihar. The ideal condition for thunderstorms in south Bengal, including Kolkata, is the convergence of dry westerly winds and wet easterlies over Jharkhand.
The convergence creates thunderclouds, which then move eastwards and cause thunderstorms in south Bengal. As they come closer to the coast, they feed on the moisture in the atmosphere.
The clouds become stronger and cause thunderstorms and rain that drag the temperature down.
“The majority of moisture from the Bay of Bengal, in the form of easterly winds, are still headed towards north Bengal, which is under a prolonged wet spell. Districts like Malda, Murshiadabad and Nadia are getting some rain. But entire south Bengal is going through a dry phase,” he said.
“A thunderstorm on Sunday is not ruled out. But even if it happens, the rain will be minimal,” said Das.
The city fretted and sweated for most of Saturday. A day earlier, the moisture quotient had dipped slightly, allowing the free flow of strong northwesterly winds, which pushed the mercury to 37.9 degrees, the hottest so far this season.
The temperature was around 36 degrees at 1.30pm on Saturday. But the RealFeel was at a whopping 46 per cent.
People who did not have the comfort of staying indoors suffered the most.
Sumit Bairagi, an AC technician, had six calls to attend on Saturday.
While riding his two-wheeler on SP Mukherjee Road in the afternoon, he was feeling dizzy.
“The hot winds felt like flames. I parked my bike at a sweet shop and washed my face with a bottle of cold water. I stayed there for some time and drank a glass of lassi before riding again,” said Bairagi. He was headed to a house in Tollygunge.
Chandan Ganguly, a senior citizen in Behala, had planned to visit his bank, which opened on Saturday after two consecutive holidays.
“I had gone to the terrace for just two minutes but they were enough to change my mind. I will try to go next week,” he said.
On Friday, the Met office declared “heat-wave conditions at isolated places in Bankura and West Burdwan”.
The temperature was well over the 40-degree mark in several districts. The season’s highest temperature (43.7 degrees) so far was recorded at Bankura on Friday. Panagarh saw the mercury touching 43.1 degrees and Asansol 42.6 degrees.