Mumbaiites experienced the big chill on Thursday as the temperature in the city dipped to 8.8 degrees Celsius. It was the city’s coldest day in February since 2008, when the mercury had dipped to 8.5 degrees Celsius.
While Mumbai’s mean temperature for February between 1951 and 1980 was 17.3 degrees Celsius, the lowest temperature ever recorded in Mumbai is 7.4 degrees Celsius, which was on January 22, 1962.
On Thursday, the minimum temperature recorded at the Santacruz weather station was 7 degrees below normal. “This is the coldest I have ever felt in the city. We can officially say that Mumbai had a ‘winter’ this year,” said Rohan Sharma, a Borivli resident.
The maximum temperature in the suburbs was 28 degrees Cels-ius, 3 degrees below normal. The island city recorded a minimum temperature of 14.2 degrees Celsius, 6 degrees below normal, and a maximum temperature of 26.5 degrees Celsius, which was two degrees below normal.
The unusually chilly morning also highlighted the city’s fluctuating weather pattern. Last week, the maximum temperature had touched 35 degrees Celsius.
Officials at the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Pune, attributed the frequent cold spells to fresh snowfall in the Himalayas and an unusually strong northerly wind pattern. “The on-going cold spell will persist inconsistently for a minimum period of a week and maximum period of two weeks,” said DS Pai, director, long range forecasting division, IMD, Pune.