Blanket of mist covers Kolkata, mercury rises

KOLKATA: A cover of mist descended over Kolkata on Monday morning, reducing visibility and pushing the mercury up. The city remained cloudy even as warm flowed in from Bangladesh and north Bay of , carrying moisture that led to the mist. With the cool north-westerly winds having weakened, the city will be missing the early winter chill for the next three days, the said.

Kolkata recorded a minimum temperature of 18.9 degree Celsius on Monday.

The minimum temperature climbed more than a degree on Monday. It could rise further and touch 20 degrees by November 29, said Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC) director GK Das. “The northwesterly has come to a halt so the chill is missing. Instead, we have warm easterly winds flowing in, which are laden with moisture. This has led to the creation of suspended droplets in the air leading to the mist.,” said Das.

The mist will continue to occur for the next three days, it was predicted. Visibility was low on Monday morning but not bad enough to disrupt traffic or flights. The Met office clarified that the city didn’t have fog on Monday. “When visibility drops below 1 km, we call it fog. This was mist and the visibility was more than 1 km,” said Das.

A fog is a thick cloud of tiny water droplets suspended in the air that restricts visibility. A mist is essentially the same but it has a lesser density of water droplets that has a lesser impact on visibility. With the easterly winds set to continue, it will continue to get marginally warm. “Last week, the northwesterly had turned slightly chilly which pulled the mercury down. But the easterly has now taken over. A high-pressure zone in central India had helped to revive the north-westerly. It has disappeared and led to the withdrawal of the northwesterly,” explained Das.

Such fluctuations of wind and temperature are normal in the pre-winter period, said RMC officials. “Kolkata turns chilly when it starts snowing in the Himalayas after mid-December. The northwesterly, too, turns stronger by then and carries in the chill with greater intensity,” said Das.
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