Mercury soars on moisture

A cyclonic circulation has sucked out the chill and sent the mercury soaring as the city on Tuesday experienced its highest temperature in the past fortnight.

The day's maximum temperature was 26.6 degrees Celsius, the highest since January 1, when the mercury shot past Tuesday's mark by one-tenth of a degree. It's also a record since December 16 last year when the city recorded a maximum temperature of 27.6.

According to the weatherman, the minimum and maximum temperature, as well as humidity, would continue to rise in the next few days.

"A cyclonic circulation over Bangladesh is drawing a lot of moisture from the Bay into Calcutta. It's blocking the cold northerly wind and resulting in a rise in humidity," said a G.C. Debnath, director, India Meteorological Department, Calcutta.

"The city's maximum temperature is a degree above normal and the minimum is normal. Still, if some Calcuttans are feeling uncomfortable, it's because this winter has been exceptionally cold," said a weatherman.

Calcutta recorded its coldest day in 24 years less than seven days ago, on January 9, when the mercury dropped to 9 degrees Celsius, five notches below normal.

A day before that, the maximum temperature had come down to 19.3 degrees Celsius, seven degrees below normal.

The high moisture content in the air is having twin effects on the city's weather ' it's blocking the northerly wind that was bringing cold to the city and resulting in a rise in humidity.

There is, however, still time for the chill to come back, insist meteorologists.

For the record, the minimum hovered around the 10-degree mark or even dropped below in the second fortnight of January on several occasions.

EOM

Chart

Warm days in 30 days

Day Max Temp

Dec 16 27.6

Jan 1 26.7

Jan 15 26.6

Jan 2 26.5

Jan 14 26.1

� Temperatures in degrees Celsius

� Source: IMD

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