At 13.7?C, Kolkata gets coldest Dec 9 in 5 years

KOLKATA: The mercury on Sunday dipped below 14?C, making it the coldest winter day this season. At 13.7?C, Kolkata also recorded the coldest December 9 in the past five years. The corresponding at 26.1?C was also a notch below the normal mark.

An uninterrupted flow of the northwesterly winds that bring in the had pushed the mercury down. But the Met office feared a slight rise in temperature from Tuesday, courtesy an impending low pressure formation over the equatorial Indian Ocean.

?We expect the low-pressure formation within the next 24 hours. In that case, the easterly winds will start to flow in, bringing in moisture. The fall in temperature will then be arrested and there will be a slight rise in temperature,? said Sanjib Bandyopadhyay, deputy director general of meteorology at Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC), Kolkata.

The mercury started falling on Friday when the minimum temperature dipped to 15.5?C, a drop of nearly two notches from the previous day. It then slipped further to 14.9?C on Saturday.

?The mercury could have dropped further if this developing system did not interrupt the northwesterly winds,? added Bandyopadhay.

The second lowest temperature the city recorded on December 9 was 14.9?C two years ago.

?The northwesterly winds are expected to lose pace from Monday onwards and the temperature will go slightly up from Tuesday. But that will be a temporary phase. The marginal rise and fall is normal,? said G K Das, director (weather) at RMC.

But the Met office assured that the cold feeling will linger. According to meteorologists, anything below 15?C signals the arrival of winter in Kolkata. The Met office is keeping a close watch on the developing weather system to analyse its impact.

?The chilly spell arrived quite early this year. Though the chill might go missing from Tuesday, the cold feeling will persist till another round of chill arrives,? added Das.

Kolkatans, however, made the most of the drop in temperature on Sunday. Places like the Alipore zoo, Victoria Memorial and Eco Park in New Town saw record crowds. Visitors queued up since morning to enjoy a day outside.

?My two children had been demanding that we take them to the zoo. Earlier, we had planned a visit on Christmas. But considering the surge of visitors likely on December 25, we took them on Sunday. Even then, we had to stand in a long queue to buy the tickets,? said Sushmita Saha, a homemaker from Lake Town.
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