Thursday was the third hottest December day in the past, as temperatures shot up 3.3 degrees Celsius above normal. The Santacruz weather station, representative of Mumbai, recorded 35.6 degrees Celsius.
The highest December day temperature over the past five years was 36.5 degrees Celsius, recorded in 2015, followed by 36.3 degrees Celsius in 2012. Over the past decade, the highest day temperature in Mumbai was 37.7 degrees Celsius in 2008.
The Colaba weather station recorded 34.4 degrees Celsius on Thursday, which was 2.4 degrees Celsius above normal. Officials from the weather bureau said hot conditions over the city were owing to cloudiness during the day.
“The low pressure area located at south Maharashtra has developed into an upper air cyclonic circulation that is pulling a lot of moisture from the sea. At the same time, the city is observing warm winds from the land, from the eastern parts of the country, which is raising the temperature,” said Shubhangi Bhute, director, Regional Meteorological Centre Mumbai, India Meteorological Department (IMD).
She added that cloudy conditions had paved the way for light rain along south Konkan areas and Goa. Mumbai can expect similar temperatures and weather till December 19. There was a drizzle at Dadar and its surrounding areas on Thursday.
Meanwhile, night temperatures at the suburbs increased from 15 degrees Celsius to 22.6 degrees Celsius on Thursday.Moisture levels were high at south Mumbai as 81% humidity was recorded at Colaba, while 59% was recorded at Santacruz.
High temperatures keep pollution at bay
For a second day in a row, Mumbai recorded a ‘moderate’ air quality index (AQI) at 181 due to rising temperatures. The System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) predicted a ‘moderate’ AQI of 200 for Friday.
Navi Mumbai and Bandra Kurla Complex were the most polluted locations on Thursday with AQI levels at 316 and 307 respectively, falling under the ‘very poor’ category. While remaining locations either recorded ‘poor’ or ‘moderate’ air quality, Colaba recorded the cleanest air in Mumbai with a ‘good’ AQI of 97.
“Pollution levels dropped as high temperatures did not allow pollutants to settle close to the earth’s surface and high wind speed dispersed pollutants,” said VK Rajeev, director, western region, IMD.