Celsius sets November record
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- Published 16.11.09
The Calcutta winter is doing a Sachin Tendulkar — smashing one Celsius record after another, with the minimum temperature on Sunday soaring to an abnormal eight degrees above normal.
With the mercury settling at 26.7 degrees Celsius, a November high in at least a decade, a combination of factors shared the blame for making the city sweat.
The day’s maximum temperature, too, was uncomfortably high — 33.6 degrees Celsius, four degrees above normal.
“The temperatures are unusually high,” said G.C. Debnath, the director of the Regional Meteorological Centre at Alipore. “Today’s minimum temperature is definitely the highest on a November day this decade.”
It’s part of a larger trend, with some local factors thrown in, according to the weatherman.
“The minimum temperatures are five to eight degrees above normal in many parts across India,” Debnath said.
A high-pressure belt over the Bay, which is adding to the moisture content over south Bengal, and Cyclone Phyan that had hit the west coast a couple of days ago are the key reasons for the surge in temperature and humidity.
A high-pressure belt is a region of relatively cooler surface temperature, where atmospheric pressure at the surface is greater than its surrounding environment. Wind within the high-pressure belt flows outward because of the higher density of the air near the centre and friction with land.
The abundant moisture is causing a cloud cover but in the absence of sufficient rain, the heat is not being dissipated.
Calcuttans had enjoyed a nip in the air following the departure of the monsoon on October 20 but the temperature abruptly started rising again from November 5.
On Friday, the minimum temperature was 23.2 degrees Celsius, four degrees above normal. The day after it was six degrees above normal.
The weatherman, however, held out hopes of relief towards the middle of the week.
“There are chances of rain after 48 hours or so. The showers should help lower the temperature,” Debnath said.
Monday is likely to be “partly cloudy, with the possibility of development of thunder clouds in some areas”.
Winter in Calcutta and the rest of south Bengal, however, is still a fortnight and more away.
“We don’t expect its onset before late November or early December,” said an official of the Pune-based India Meteorological Department.