Even as the city experienced the coldest day of the season at 12.8 degree Celsius on January 1, be prepared for more fluctuations in minimum temperatures all this month.
Despite the cold winds in the city on Sunday, the average minimum temperature recorded at Santacruz was 17.7 degree Celsius while it touched 20 degree Celsius at Colaba; indicating almost normal to above normal temperature respectively. The normal minimum temperature for this season is 18 degree Celsius.
For Monday, the weather department has predicted the minimum temperatures to be 19 degree Celsius and maximum temperature at 30 degree Celsius.
For some Mumbaiites such as homemaker Shilpa Patil, 61, who suffers from arthritis, the varying temperature is bad news. “The changing weather pattern means increase pain in my various joints and muscles. Just when my body gets used to a particular weather, the climate changes,” said Patil, a Kandivli resident.
According to the weatherman, strength of the northerly and north-easterly wind flow and the existing air mass are responsible for fluctuations in the city’s minimum temperatures.
“There is a constant flow of cold winds over the city from the northern parts of India. When the intensity of the wind is low and the existing air mass is warm, their interaction causes a rise in minimum temperature,” said RV Sharma, deputy director general, western region, India Meteorology Department. “But when strong wind speed come in contact with existing air mass that may be cool or warm, the temperature will dip.”
According to the IMD, the normal minimum temperature falls to 16 degree Celsius during January and remains so till the first week of February. The minimum temperature then starts rising and reaches 18 degree Celsius by the end of February.
The lowest minimum January temperatures ranged between 10 degree Celsius in 1991 and 15.2 degree Celsius in 2003. Similarly, the lowest December temperatures ranged between 11.5 degree Celsius in 1991 and 17.6 degree Celsius in 2001.
The north-easterly winds over the city and a cloudless sky in the night are responsible for the decrease in temperatures.
“For the past two weeks, I've been religiously carrying a jacket on me; something unusual for Mumbai that hardly witnesses any winter,” said Michelle D’Souza, 30, a banker. “Though the temperature has been varying these days, it’s still been a pleasant winter so far. At least, there was a chill in the air for both Christmas and New Year.”