Northwesterly winds have made a comeback to the city, marking the beginning of what a Met official said was the last “cold phase” of this winter.
Barring a couple of cold spells, this season has been unusually warm.
The minimum temperature had shot up to almost 20 degrees on Wednesday. On Thursday, the mercury slid significantly to settle at 16.5 degrees Celsius.
“Winds from the outer band of a depression on the Tamil Nadu coastline entered the south Bengal coast. The winds led to the formation of clouds over Kolkata. The moisture in the atmosphere stalled the flow of the cold and dry winds and the minimum temperature shot up. The system has now weakened, paving the way for the free access of northwesterly winds,” said G.K. Das, director, India Meteorological Department, Kolkata.
The minimum temperature is expected to go a couple of notches further down over the next few days, according to the forecast.
“The weekend is most likely to be cold. Once the sun sets, the chill will make its presence felt. But from next week, the mercury is tipped to rise again,” said Das.
The cold winds started gaining strength in Kolkata from last night. People who stepped out of their home in the night felt the bite.
Moumita Sarkar, who works at a Camac Street office and lives in New Alipore, usually returns home on an app bike service. “Last night, I got on the bike around 10pm. I was wearing a light jacket. But I felt really cold on my way back,” she said.
Children on their way to school on Wednesday morning had heads and ears covered, besides wearing woollens.
In the first week of January, the city was under the grip of a cold spell. On January 6, the Celsius had plunged to 10.9 degrees, making it the coldest January day in five years.
But both before and after, it has been unusually warm.
A western disturbance over Jammu and Kashmir had been stalling the flow of the cold northwesterly winds. Another high-pressure zone over the Bay of Bengal had led to the incursion of moisture into the Kolkata air.
The high-pressure zone persisted for a long time, a thorn in the return of chill to the city.
Over the next few days, the minimum temperature is likely to be around 15 degrees and the maximum around 28 degrees, said a Met official.
The districts will be colder, he said.
“The cold is not going to be like that in the first week of January. But warm clothes will still be needed,” said the official.