Mumbai: After heatwave, westerlies to keep city cool this week
BL Soni

After last week’s unbearable heatwave that lasted till Saturday (40.9 degree Celsius), the city’s temperature temperatures dropped by more than 8 degree Celsius within four days. On Wednesday, the maximum temperature at Colaba was 32.8 degree Celsius and at Santacruz, it was 32.7 degree Celsius. The relative humidity at Colaba was 80 per cent while at Santacruz it was 64 per cent.

Further, over the next 24 to 48 hours, daytime temperatures are expected to drop marginally and settle to 32 degrees Celsius—the normal range for Mumbai during March.

It may be mentioned here that Saturday’s maximum temperature of 40.9°C was the second-highest temperature recorded on a March day in Mumbai since 2011. The record temperature, noted at the IMD’s weather observatory of Santacruz, was a whopping 8°C above the normal maximum. The all-time high March temperature for the city so far is 41.7°C recorded on March 28, 1956. In 2018, 41°C was recorded on March 26, while in 2011, 41.3°C was recorded on March 17.

As per the IMD forecast, daytime temperatures in Mumbai are likely to remain in the normal range of 32 to 33°C over the next five days, while the minimum temperatures hover around 23-24°C. Clear skies are forecast throughout this week with slightly higher humidity levels of around 50-75%. Ultraviolet Index, which denotes the strength of sunshine, is likely to remain extreme throughout the week, indicating harsh sunshine over the city.

Hot and dry air from Rajasthan were attributed to the heatwave last week, and the strong westerly winds from the Arabian Sea this week are likely to keep Mumbai slightly cooler this week. The early onset of summer heat in Mumbai appears to be a preview of the upcoming harsher summer months.

According to the IMD’s latest long-term season outlook for the period of March to May 2021, Konkan and Goa region are very likely to witness warmer-than-normal summer. As per the forecast, Konkan and Goa region — which houses Maharashtra’s capital, Mumbai — is set to witness 0.25°C warmer daytime temperatures from March to May, while night time temperatures would be 0.48°C warmer.

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