This year, Mumbai’s winter seems to be doing a Sachin Tendulkar — beating its own record with crisp regularity. While January 25 became the coldest day in the decade with 11.4 degree Celsius, on Republic Day it dived further to 11 degrees.
But windy Sunday had saved one: the weatherman recorded 10.2 degrees. The government-run Doordarshan channel, and usually reliable with such data, said it was the coldest day in 45 years. Since offices were closed, this could not be confirmed.
“It is probably the lowest in two decades,” said regional head of the Indian Metrological Department, C.V.V. Bhadram. The lowest recorded temperature in Mumbai is 7.4 degrees on January 22, 1962.
“There is a cold wave in the state because of the Northerly winds. It does not last more than a week,” said M. Rajeevan, director, National Climate Centre, Pune. The cold and dry Northerlies travel across Kashmir’s peaks and Gujarat’s plains to reach Mumbai.
In the state, Nasik was the coldest at four degrees. Pune is slightly warmer at six degrees.
The weather has become conversation over drinks, with brandy seeing a sudden and rare period of popularity. “Clubbing just got dressier. Everyone has got their New York boots and trendy jackets out,” said 28-year-old Juhu resident Shalini Kalra.
Doctors sound less peppy. “Mumbai is not used to such cold. Respiratory problems have doubled. We have had to increase dosages of asthma patients, and some had to be admitted to the Intensive Care Unit," said Hemant Thacker, consultant physician at Breach Candy Hospital. “People have to keep their chests warm and avoid early morning walks because of smog.”