City of Joy Ongoing Through Century’s Longest Heatwave

With temperatures exceeding 40°C, Kolkata is expected to shatter the record for heatwaves in April. There won’t be any rain until May 5, and there may be a chance of thunderstorms by May 6. The Bay of Bengal winds will have an impact on Monday’s weather.

KOLKATA: It’s unlikely that the heat will let up in the city for around a week. For the next two days, Kolkata’s maximum temperature may remain above 40°C, giving 2024 the greatest number of heatwave days in April this century.

There were eight days in April 2009 and April 2016 between 1998 and 2024 when the maximum temperature approached or surpassed 40°C. Since the start of the heatwave, the temperature has risen above 40°C on seven of the last nine days. The Met office released two advisories on Sunday indicating that there was little chance of rainfall in Kolkata until at least May 5 and that scorching conditions will probably persist until at least May 2.

According to the Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC) head Somenath Dutta, there is a very small probability of a thunderstorm in the city on May 5 or 6. This might perhaps bring down the temperature a few degrees, relieving the city of at least 15 days of sweltering conditions. This would be the first rainy spell since the city’s last spell of 0.5 mm on April 7.

“I have observed an anticlockwise turn in the southerly winds in the Bay of Bengal, which tends to be conducive for thunderstorm activity. While we need a few more days to observe the system, if the trend continues, there may be a mature thunderstorm between May 5 and 6, bringing substantial cold and dry winds, which would, in turn, push the mercury down,” Dutta said.

This April has already surpassed the record for the hottest temperature in 44 years, even though the heat in Kolkata is expected to hit a record this week. The highest temperature the city has experienced in April since it reached 41.7°C on April 25, 1980, was 41.6°C on Thursday. Only seven occasions in recent memory has the temperature risen above 41°C: in 2009, 2014, 2016, and 2023. In the meantime, three days this month have already seen temperatures soar beyond 41°C.