“The moisture content in the air has increased owing to a western disturbance. Also, one can feel the nip owing to a steady wind blowing past the city,” said VK Rajeev, director of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Mumbai.
A western disturbance is an extra-tropical storm or a low-pressure system, which originates in the Medite-rranean Sea and moves eastwards. It causes rainfall in Iran, Pakistan and India and snowfall in some parts of India. The chill from the northern region is then carried forward to the central and western regions of the country with the help of northerly winds.
Mumbaiites will have to be on guard as the sudden fluctuation in temperature could result in respiratory ailments, said doctors. “There are patients coming in with high fever, cough and cold,” said Dr Nasir Fulara, consultant at Jaslok Hospital, who is treating more than 30 patients every day.
Dr Pratit Samdani, physician with the Breach Candy Hospital said: “In the past two weeks, there is sudden spurt in pneumonia cases.”