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Get ready to sweat it out during Durga Puja

Joydeep Thakur, Kolkata: Like it or not, the weather gods are not smiling this autumn. So, brace for a hot and

sultry week ahead and get ready to sweat it out while pandal-hopping during Durga Puja!
However, there is a silver-lining: There may be occasional showers on a day or two and that may bring down the temperature after sundown.
But then, half a glass empty is half a glass full! Sanjib Bandyopadhyay, the deputy director-general (Meteorology) of the Indian Meteorological Department’s (IMD) regional office in Kolkata, said, “Chances of heavy and widespread rain with an overcast sky on the days of the Puja — which could have ruined the festivities — are remote this time.”
Southwest Monsoon, which arrived rather late this year, has already started retreating from some parts of northwestern India, including Rajasthan. But it will take at least another fortnight before it bids farewell to Kolkata. Durga Puja has coincided with the fag-end of the monsoon season this year.While on one hand moisture-laden winds are gushing in from the Bay of Bengal, on the other the day temperature is hovering around 35-degree Celsius. This combination is giving people in Kolkata a sauna-like experience. But weather experts say this is normal during this time of the year.
“On Tuesday, the maximum day temperature was 36.1°C, which was three degrees above normal. Relative humidity too was high, above 90 per cent, making the heat all the more stifling. We apprehend that this situation will linger till the Puja days are over,” Bandyopadhyay said.
The only ray of hope is the occasional showers. While the city will have to bear with the hot and stifling conditions during the first part of the day, a smart shower may hit some areas in the afternoon. “These showers will be triggered by local rain clouds and won’t last for more than a few minutes. But in spite of this, it may help reduce the temperature by a few degrees after sunset, bringing some much-needed relief. We hope that once there is a shower, the mercury will fall to around 32°C,” he added.Unlike the days of the Durga Puja in 2013, which were almost ruined by Cyclone Phailin, there is no sign of any major atmospheric system developing over the sea — that may intensify either into a low pressure or depression — this time.
“Usually, heavy and widespread rain in our part of the world is triggered by a system such as a circulation that is either born over the sea or is a remnant of a typhoon that has already ravaged one or two East Asian countries, like China or Taiwan. But this time, no such system has been spotted till now,” another senior IMD official said.

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