It's 11.4 degrees and dipping

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By Staff Reporter
  • Published 28.12.09
decade’s coldest december days

Calcutta is galloping towards the 10-degree mark with the Celsius on Sunday dipping to a decade’s December low of 11.4 degrees.

The minimum temperature touching three degrees below normal, the weatherman was eyeing the coveted cold reading “within 48 hours”.

An official of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) in Delhi said: “It looked a little uncertain on Saturday, but Sunday’s further fall seems to have sealed the deal, with the minimum temperature likely to be around 10 degrees Celsius by Wednesday. It could turn out to be the coldest Calcutta winter ever.”

The minimum temperature at the airport on Sunday was 10.2 degrees Celsius, two degrees below normal.

February 3, 2008 was the last time the mercury had dipped below 11, at 10.8 degrees Celsius. Calcutta is generally cooler in January and early February than in December. The lows this month could herald a record-breaking January-February, feels the weatherman.

The city has already had its coldest Christmas this decade and the coldest December 31 of the Noughties looks a certainty. “The coldest New Year’s Eve this decade was in 2007, at 11.4 degrees Celsius. The city has already reached that mark with four days to go,” said the IMD official.

This cold spell should be the last of the numerous weather anomalies that have characterised Calcutta’s weather in 2009. “The city has seen a premature monsoon dragged in by Cyclone Aila, heat waves in April, May and June, record-shattering warm phases in August and November, an early winter and a warm spell in mid December,” said a senior scientist from the Noida-based National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting. “This unusually chilly phase (since December 22) must be the first weather anomaly that is being greeted by smiles in Calcutta.”

The swift and steady drop in temperature has been powered by the dip in humidity levels and the unhindered passage of the northwesterlies and the western disturbances.