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The Temperature of Kolkata: A Comprehensive Guide

kolkata temperature

kolkata temperature

Kolkata, formerly known as Calcutta, is the capital city of the Indian state of West Bengal. It is a vibrant and bustling metropolis with a rich cultural heritage. One of the factors that greatly influences the daily lives of its residents is the temperature. In this article, we will explore the temperature patterns in Kolkata, the factors that contribute to its fluctuations, and how the city’s inhabitants cope with the varying climate.

The Climate of Kolkata

Kolkata experiences a tropical wet-and-dry climate, characterized by hot and humid summers and mild winters. The city is located in the Gangetic plain, which is influenced by the monsoon winds from the Bay of Bengal. The proximity to the sea and the presence of the Hooghly River also play a significant role in shaping the city’s climate.

The average annual temperature in Kolkata ranges from 24°C (75°F) to 37°C (99°F). The summer months, from March to June, are the hottest, with temperatures often soaring above 40°C (104°F). The humidity during this period can be quite oppressive, making it uncomfortable for outdoor activities.

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On the other hand, the winter season, from November to February, brings relief from the scorching heat. The temperatures during this time range from 12°C (54°F) to 23°C (73°F), making it pleasant for outdoor excursions and festivals.

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Factors Influencing Kolkata’s Temperature

Several factors contribute to the temperature variations in Kolkata. Understanding these factors can provide valuable insights into the city’s climate patterns:

1. Proximity to the Bay of Bengal

Kolkata’s proximity to the Bay of Bengal has a significant impact on its temperature. The sea breeze that blows in from the Bay helps moderate the city’s temperature, especially during the summer months. The cooling effect of the sea breeze provides some relief from the intense heat.

2. Monsoon Winds

The monsoon winds from the Bay of Bengal bring heavy rainfall to Kolkata during the monsoon season, which lasts from June to September. These winds also influence the temperature by bringing moisture and reducing the heat. The rainfall helps in cooling down the city and maintaining a pleasant temperature.

3. Urban Heat Island Effect

Like many other metropolitan cities, Kolkata experiences the urban heat island effect. The extensive concrete structures, asphalt roads, and lack of green spaces contribute to the city’s higher temperature compared to its surrounding rural areas. The heat-absorbing properties of these surfaces result in increased temperatures, especially during the summer months.

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4. Pollution and Air Quality

Kolkata, like many other Indian cities, faces challenges related to air pollution. The high levels of pollution can contribute to an increase in temperature. The presence of pollutants in the air traps heat and leads to a rise in the overall temperature of the city.

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Coping with Kolkata’s Temperature

The residents of Kolkata have developed various strategies to cope with the city’s temperature fluctuations. Here are some common practices:

1. Use of Traditional Cooling Methods

Traditional cooling methods, such as using hand fans and wet towels, are still prevalent in Kolkata. These methods provide temporary relief from the heat and are widely used, especially in households without air conditioning.

2. Air Conditioning and Fans

Air conditioning and fans have become increasingly popular in Kolkata, particularly in commercial establishments and wealthier households. These cooling appliances help create a comfortable indoor environment, allowing people to escape the heat during the scorching summer months.

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3. Avoiding Outdoor Activities During Peak Hours

Due to the extreme heat and humidity, many residents of Kolkata prefer to avoid outdoor activities during the peak hours of the day. They schedule their work and leisure activities either early in the morning or in the evening when the temperature is relatively cooler.

4. Staying Hydrated

Staying hydrated is crucial in Kolkata’s hot and humid climate. People make sure to drink plenty of water and consume fluids like coconut water, lemonade, and buttermilk to replenish their bodies and prevent dehydration.

Q&A

1. What is the hottest month in Kolkata?

The hottest month in Kolkata is usually May, with temperatures often exceeding 40°C (104°F).

2. Does Kolkata experience winter?

Yes, Kolkata experiences a mild winter season from November to February, with temperatures ranging from 12°C (54°F) to 23°C (73°F).

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3. How does the monsoon season affect Kolkata’s temperature?

The monsoon season brings heavy rainfall to Kolkata, which helps cool down the city and maintain a pleasant temperature.

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4. Does Kolkata face any temperature extremes?

Yes, Kolkata can experience temperature extremes, with summer temperatures exceeding 40°C (104°F) and winter temperatures dropping to around 12°C (54°F).

5. How does pollution affect Kolkata’s temperature?

Pollution contributes to an increase in Kolkata’s temperature by trapping heat in the atmosphere. The presence of pollutants in the air leads to a rise in the overall temperature of the city.

Summary

Kolkata’s temperature is influenced by various factors, including its proximity to the Bay of Bengal, monsoon winds, the urban heat island effect, and pollution. The city experiences hot and humid summers, with temperatures often exceeding 40°C (104°F), and mild winters, with temperatures ranging from 12°C (54°F) to 23°C (73°F). The residents of Kolkata cope with the temperature fluctuations through traditional cooling methods, air conditioning, avoiding outdoor activities during peak hours, and staying hydrated. Understanding the temperature patterns in Kolkata is essential for both residents and visitors to plan their activities and make necessary preparations to stay comfortable in the city’s climate.

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