The uptick in mercury notwithstanding, the weather remained cool, as it has for the past week. Data from the India Meteorological Department’s Santacruz observatory showed that Mumbai has recorded temperatures consistently below normal since January 6, including maximum and minimum temperatures.
“This drop was brought on by a bout of unseasonal rain last week, caused by two consecutive western disturbances drawing moisture from the Arabian Sea and depositing it over parts of Konkan and madhya Maharashtra as they passed through Rajasthan in the north. The increase in temperature on Tuesday is because of this system’s diminished influence, but both maximum and minimum readings will remain below normal till at least January 14, after which conditions will get warmer,” said a meteorologist with the IMD’s regional forecasting centre in Mumbai.
The official pointed out that the direction of the wind over Mumbai and adjoining areas has been from the north-west over the past two days and this is cooler than easterly or westerly winds. With the directions expected to change later this week, the city will start receiving warmer air, and the onset of warmer conditions may be felt sharply after Friday, the official explained.
As per the IMD’s seven-day forecast for the city, temperatures will rise to a maximum of as much as 31 degree Celsius by January 17, and a minimum of as low as 18 degree Celsius, because mainly, clear skies are expected to prevail. Recent weather patterns have been favourable for the city’s air except for Tuesday’s air quality index (AQI) reading which settled at a ‘satisfactory’ 79, down from the ‘moderate’ 177 a day before.
“This could be due to the sudden increase in temperatures. As the air warmed, it would have risen higher in the atmosphere away from the earth’s surface, carrying pollution with it. Wind velocity has also been favourable at about 10kmph, which would have helped to disperse aerosol pollutants on Tuesday,” said Gufran Beig, project director at SAFAR.