Shadow of rain on Eden clash

System over Bay of Bengal set to trigger showers in city tomorrow and day after

Debraj Mitra Kolkata Published 15.11.23, 05:51 AM
Representational image

Representational image File picture

A system brewing on the Bay of Bengal, more than 1,000km from Kolkata on Tuesday, could drench the Eden Gardens on Thursday, when Australia and South Africa are scheduled to clash for a place in the final of the cricket World Cup.

The low-pressure area is likely to intensify and head towards the Andhra Pradesh coast before changing direction, according to a Met bulletin issued on Tuesday afternoon.


“Enhanced rainfall activity very likely to occur between November 16 and 18 over the districts of south Bengal,” the bulletin said.

October and November offer conducive conditions for systems on the Bay to intensify into cyclones. Till Tuesday night, Met officials were tight-lipped on such a possibility in this case.

“A low-pressure area has formed over south-east Bay of Bengal and the adjoining Andaman and Nicobar Islands on November 14. It is likely to move west-northwestwards and intensify into a depression over west-central Bay of Bengal on November 15.

“Thereafter, it would move northwestwards and may intensify into a deep depression over west-central Bay of Bengal off Andhra Pradesh coast on November 16. Subsequently, it would recurve north-northeastwards and reach north-west Bay of Bengal off Odisha coast on November 17,” the bulletin said.

Under the influence of the system, rain is likely across south Bengal.

East Midnapore and North and South 24-Parganas are likely to be impacted the most. Heavy rain is expected in these districts on both November 16 and 17.

Kolkata, Howrah, Hooghly, Nadia, East Burdwan and West Burdwan are also likely to get rain, according to the forecast.

“The maximum impact is likely on November 17 (Friday) when the system is tipped to reach north-west Bay of Bengal. In Kolkata, rain is likely on both November 16 and 17. The intensity and spread of the rain is likely to go up on November 17,” said G.K. Das, director, India Meteorological Department, Kolkata.

Eden has had its share of washouts, especially during squall-season IPL. The drainage system has improved over the years, especially since the T20 World Cup in 2016.

The dependence on the army of groundsmen and natural drainage to get a match going after rain has gone down, said a CAB veteran. “The entire ground is covered when it rains. The covers are no longer operated manually. Machines have taken over,” he said.

Below the top soil surface, Eden has three layers — pipes, gravel and sand. Soil is relatively impermeable and makes the ground slushy. To beat this, a process called coring or “core aerifying” was done a few years ago.

Sand was injected into the soil to change its nature and make it more permeable.

“If the rain does not stop, cricket cannot be played anywhere in the world. But if the showers are not very heavy, cricket can resume at Eden within 30 to 40 minutes of the rain stopping,” said an official of the CAB.

The intensity of the rain will depend on how strong the system gets and how close it comes to the Bengal coastline. North-west Bay, where it is tipped to reach on November 17, is off the Odisha and Bengal coastline. East Midnapore, which borders Odisha, is usually most affected by a system on the northwest Bay.

There is a strong possibility that the system might head towards Bangladesh from the northwest Bay. If it hits land in Bangladesh, then the Sunderbans and adjoining areas in South-24 Parganas are also likely to be affected, said Met officials.


As the system nears land, overcast conditions are likely to lend a feeling of chill, said Das of IMD.

The cloud will cover the sun. The maximum temperature in Kolkata is likely to be around 28 degrees Celsius between November 16 and 18. The usual for mid-November is around 31 degrees.

“The clouds from the system will stall the flow of the cold northwesterly winds. In that case, the minimum temperature will be on the higher side. But the maximum temperature is likely to be at least a couple of notches below normal,” said a Met official.

In simple terms, the days are likely to feel colder, he said.

The sea condition is going to be rough between November 16 and 18. The Met bulletin advised fishermen not to venture into the sea during that period.

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