Kolkata: Monday was hottest July day in a decade

  • | Tuesday | 16th July, 2019

In the past 10 years, not a day in July had seen the mercury touch the 37 degrees mark.

KOLKATA: Monday was the hottest day in July that Kolkata has experienced in the past decade, as the maximum temperature touched 37.7 degrees Celsius, five notches above the normal mark.

In the past 10 years, not a day in July had seen the mercury touch the 37 degrees mark. The closest to Monday’s temperature that any July day had experienced in the past 10 years was on the 5th of the month in 2015, when the maximum temperature was recorded as 36.7 degrees Celsius. The all time-high was 39.9 degrees Celsius, recorded on July 10, 1971.

Adding to the heat was high humidity that made the discomfort index shoot up to 64.5. The discomfort index is calculated after taking into account factors, such as temperature, moisture content and wind direction. Once this index goes above 55, the weather becomes intolerable to people.

But the weather office is more concerned about the lack of rain in July, which is adding to the feared annual shortfall. Even as light to moderate rain here and there is predicted, the weather office said it would not be able to drag the temperature down much. “There is no significant weather system that will trigger sufficient widespread rain for now.

There could be a slight improvement because of light to moderate rainfall. But the amount will not be enough to make a big difference,” said G K Das, director (weather) at Regional Meteorological Centre Kolkata. “The maximum temperature is likely to swing between 36 and 37 degrees Celsius for now. The maximum temperature in July does not usually climb up to 37 degrees Celsius due to frequent showers.

Monday’s 37.7 degrees was the highest in July in the past few years.”Currently, a trough line in the Bay area has been infusing moisture and causing cloud formation. But this system itself was not strong enough to cause heavy rain, the weather office said, adding that the sky would remain partly clouded in the next few days with only a few spells of showers.

The southwest monsoon arrived in the city on June 21 this year, after a delay of 13 days. Due to the late arrival and scanty rainfall that followed, by June-end the city had a rainfall deficit of around 60%.

Even as July and August are the two peak monsoon months, and usually make up the deficit of the previous month, half of July has passed without much rain, leaving the city high and dry. A strong system, like low pressure and depression, would only bring in a heavy downpour, officials said.“June usually records a rainfall shortage.

But the deficit is made up in July and August. With barely any significant rain in July so far this year, the deficit in Kolkata has added up to 72 %,” said Das. The city recorded 91.5mm rainfall in June this year, while the figure was 419mm in June 2018, which saw a 51% surplus rainfall. July so far has received 39.9 mm, while the figure was 307.9 mm last year.

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