After playing hide and seek with the state since the beginning of the month, the winter chill has begun to set in. The skies are clear, there are no depressions around the corner and cool northerly winds have begun to blow.
The results are chilling. While the mercury has begun dipping in most South Bengal districts, the northern part of the state is already freezing. On Wednesday, Darjeeling recorded a temperature of 2.5°Celsius.
“Conditions are becoming favourable for the winter chill to return to Kolkata, as well. The sky has cleared up, and even the northerly winds that usually bring with them the chill of northern and central India are getting stronger,” GC Debnath, director of the Indian Meteorological Department’s regional office in Kolkata, said.
The minimum temperature in Kolkata has already come down to 15.4°C from the 20+°C mark — a sharp drop of five degrees in a span of just four days.
In the second week of December, a weather pattern over the Bay of Bengal brought the first winter rain in Kolkata.
But an overcast sky and foggy nights robbed the city of the winter chill that Kolkatans have been experiencing since the last week of November.
The night temperature had dropped to 14°C by November 25, but had shot up to 20°C by the second week of this month. Even the blanket of fog was so thick that flights from the city had to be cancelled.
“But, with several states in North India reeling under extreme winter conditions and snowfall occurring in some places, the mercury has begun to plummet in the state,” a senior Met official said.