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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Thursday hottest of month, but May was no scorcher

Mumbai: Mumbaikars who chose to skip office and chill at home on Thursday, chose wisely as they were saved from the scorching heat. On Thursday, Colaba recorded a maximum temperature of 35.2 degrees Celsius—1.5 degrees above normal and the highest this May. The month has otherwise witnessed normal temperatures. 
    While Santa Cruz recorded a maximum temperature of 33.6 degrees Celsius, the minimum temperature remained high with Colaba recording 28 degree Celsius and Santa Cruz recording 27.8 degrees Celsius on Thursday. 
    "The maximum temperature of Thursday is only a marginal increase," said V K Rajeev, director of weather forecast at India Meteorological Department (IMD), Mumbai. "The climatic conditions were normal on Thursday. The westerly winds continued to prevail over the city," said a weather official. 
    However, as compared to the previous years, May this year has been much more bearable, if one looks at the temperatures recorded. According to the IMD data, in the last 10 years, the maximum temperature rose as high as 38.7 degrees Celsius on May 8, 2004. Moreover, the all-time high has been 41 degree Celsius on May 19, 2000. 
    This year, however, apart from Thursday when the temperature rose up to 35.2 degrees Celsius, the temperatures have been normal—hovering around 34 degrees Celsius in Colaba, and 33 degrees Celsius in Santa Cruz. 
    "Generally, when winds from the land area—the northerlies or north easterlies—hit the city, the temperature increases. However, all through the month, westerly winds have been prevalent. Moreover, the sea breeze have been setting in on time, thus, providing enough moisture and not allowing the temperatures to rise much," said Rajeev, adding that the weather has been normal for the month of May. 
    The discomfort index, however, shows that Mumbaikars have been sweating it out—literally. Discomfort index is a computed value that describes how hot or humid the weather 'feels' to an average person. It combines the temperature and humidity into one number to reflect the perceived temperature. 
    On Thursday, the discomfort index was 50 degrees Celsius in Colaba, as humidity levels were 64% in the evening. But an IMD official said the discomfort index would have been higher if the afternoon humidity levels (1pm) were taken into consideration, as the humidity levels were higher at the time. Santa Cruz, meanwhile, had a discomfort level of 46 degrees Celsius.


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