The cold spells and fluctuating temperatures this winter are owing to a combination of various factors, say weather officials.
On Sunday, the city recorded January’s coldest day in a decade, with the minimum temperature dropping to 10 degree Celsius.
Weather officials from the India Meteorological Department, Colaba, said that while the steady cold wave in north India is the main reason for the frequent cold spells in Mumbai, the frequency of low-pressure weather system moving towards India have also increased this year. Low-pressure weather system, also called western disturbances, originate from the Mediterranean Sea and move across Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, before bringing rain in the north and heavy snowfall in the Himalayas and Jammu and Kashmir.
“These western disturbances that generate cold winds from the north are witnessed every four to five days in a week. The frequency of such winds has been higher this month, compared to December. As a result the month has recorded more nippy days,” said an official from the western region, IMD, requesting anonymity.
Weathermen also hinted at the small possibility of the ‘La Nina’ effect – a rare phenomenon caused by a drop in temperatures in the Pacific Ocean – bringing the temperature down.
However, the dipping temperatures have led to a rise in cases of cough, cold and fever, say city doctors. “ People should not self medicate and should consult a specialist immediately as cough and cold could be initial signs of serious infections,” said Girgaum-based general physician Dr Krishnakant Dhebri.
Doctors advise children, the elderly, those with chronic lung diseases such as asthma as well as diabetes and cancer patients to be extra cautious. “With the dip in the temperature, the dust particles in the air settle down, increasing risk of allergic symptoms,” said Dr Pratit Samdani, physician, Jaslok Hospital.
Doctors also advise a nutritious diet, avoiding cold beverages and being warmly clad.