“I slept with the fan off in Mumbai!” was the incredulous admission of sales executive Shanaya Irani (26) on December 31, which saw a minimum temperature of 13.2 degrees Celsius, the lowest recorded that month.
It was the second coldest December day in five years. The coldest was December 31, 2008, which saw the mercury fall to 12.8 degrees Celsius.
The lowest temperature recorded in December 2007 was on the 29th — 13.8 degrees Celsius. In 2006, it was on the 18th — 15.6 degrees Celsius. In 2005, it was the 20th — 16 degrees Celsius. In 2004, it was the 20th again — 16 degrees Celsius.
Mumbaikars, who blamed climate change for the sultry quasi-winter, rejoiced at the prospect of wearing their woollens to welcome the New Year.
Christmas Eve was the first day that recorded a sudden dip in mercury with Santacruz witnessing a minimum temperature of 15.8 degrees Celsius. While the nights remained cool, the city also experienced pleasant weather as maximum temperatures dropped to 28.5 degrees Celsius on December 27, the lowest maximum temperature recorded in the suburbs that month.
“I bought myself a really cool wardrobe in wait for a winter that never looked like it was coming,” said stylist Karishma Sajnani (29). “I was so glad I could finally wear some of the jackets and scarves in the last week of December.”
Deputy Director General of the Indian Meteorological Department (Western Region) RV Sharma attributed the cool temperatures to wind pattern changes in the cold northerly winds coming into the city. But his prediction of a rise in temperatures after New Year’s Eve has proven accurate as January 2 recorded a minimum of 21 degrees Celsius, an increase of eight degrees compared to the minimum temperature on New Year’s Eve. Sharma added: “Unless we get the winds blowing from the northern parts, the temperature will not decrease. For now, it is likely to remain around the weekly normal temperature.”
“I knew it wouldn’t last. But I’m glad we got a taste of winter,” said Irani who has resumed sleeping in the cold comfort of her air-conditioner.