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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Mercury swings wildly again as max temp touches 38°C Difference Of 20°C Between Max And Min Temperatures For 2nd Day Running

Mumbai: The wild temperature swing seen on the first day of the month continued on Saturday, when Mumbaikars were exposed to a cool night and a scorching day. The maximum temperature was as high as 38 degrees Celsius—an unusual occurrence in the first week of March. 

    Though maximum temperatures have gone as high as 41 degrees Celsius in March in previous years, these extremes are generally recorded after the second week of the month (see box). 
    The city is in a kind of limbo between winter and summer, where the temperatures are not only causing discomfort, but are also responsible for making many, especially children, ill. 
    On Saturday, the maximum temperature recorded at Colaba was 35.5 degrees Celsius, more than four degrees above normal, while at Santa Cruz it was 38 degrees Celsius, more than five degrees above normal. The minimum at Colaba was an almost-normal 21.3 degrees Celsius and at Santa Cruz 17.8 degrees, two below normal. 

    The weather department said the heat was only to be expected. "The winter is meteorologically over and the premonsoon season has started. This means that though the minimum temperatures will rise back to normal in another day or two, the maximum temperatures can be expected to remain high," said V K Rajeev, director of weather forecast, Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Mumbai. 
    City doctors said that the weather was conducive for the growth of diseasecausing organisms and that people—especially children appearing for exams—need to be exceptionally careful. 

    "The temperatures and humidity levels are just right for viruses to grow," said Dr Shahid Barmare, who consults in Kohinoor Hospital. "Moreover, the body cannot adapt to the sudden change. Which is why we are seeing more cases of cough, cold and sore throat." 
    He said many viral cases were turning into super-added infections. "We have three patients of pneumonia on ventilator," he said. 
    Dr Hemant Thacker, who consults with Jaslok and Breach Candy hospitals, said people should avoid knee-jerk reactions like setting the AC on maximum in the afternoon.


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