While most of the week witnessed a drop in day temperatures, Saturday saw a sudden spike in maximum temperatures to beat last year’s hottest January day.
According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), maximum temperatures at south Mumbai rose to 4.7 degrees above normal at 34.2 degrees Celsius while it was 3.7 degrees Celsius above normal in the suburbs at 34.3 degrees Celsius. In 2015, January 31 was the hottest day at 33.9 degrees Celsius.
The all-time hottest January day was recorded in 2006 at 37. 4 degrees Celsius.
“For the past couple of days the sea breeze is setting in much later than its normal time, which is around 2pm. The south-easterly and easterly winds have been prevailing before that,” said KS Hosalikar, deputy director general, western region, IMD, explaining the rise in day temperatures.
The minimum temperature recorded in Colaba was 20.2 degrees Celsius, which is 1.7 degrees above normal, while Santacruz recorded a temperature of 16.9 degrees Celsius.
The weather bureau has forecast a maximum temperature of 33 degrees Celsius and minimum temperature of 17 degrees Celsius on Sunday.
With the fluctuation in temperatures, doctors warned of a rise in respiratory ailments. In fact, several doctors are treating an increasing number of Mumbaiites complaining of cough and cold. At least 40% of the patients treated by Malad-based general practitioner Dr Madhukar Garodiya in the past few days were having cough and cold.
“The temperature fluctuations lead to exacerbation of symptoms for people who have asthma and other respiratory conditions,” said Dr Garodiya. He treats close to 100 patients a day.
“When the temperature drops, the dust particles settle down aggravating respiratory conditions such as asthma. The fluctuation in the temperatures adversely affects the body’s immunity,” said Dr Pratit Samdani, physician, Breach Candy Hospital.