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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. However, it also contributes to the high humidity levels experienced in Kolkata.

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 in moisture and lowering the overall temperature of the city.

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 higher temperatures in urban areas compared to the surrounding rural regions. This effect is particularly noticeable during the summer months.

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4. Topography

The topography of Kolkata, with the presence of the Hooghly River and its tributaries, also affects the city’s temperature. The water bodies help moderate the temperature by providing a cooling effect. Additionally, the river acts as a barrier, preventing the spread of extreme temperatures from the surrounding areas.

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:

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1. Air Conditioning

With the rising temperatures, air conditioning has become a necessity in many households, offices, and public spaces in Kolkata. Air conditioners provide relief from the scorching heat and help maintain a comfortable indoor environment.

2. Traditional Cooling Methods

Despite the prevalence of air conditioning, many people in Kolkata still rely on traditional cooling methods. These include using hand fans, wet towels, and taking frequent showers to cool down. These methods are not only cost-effective but also environmentally friendly.

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3. Avoiding Outdoor Activities

During the peak summer months, when temperatures are at their highest, people in Kolkata tend to avoid outdoor activities during the hottest parts of the day. They prefer to stay indoors or engage in activities early in the morning or late in the evening when the temperature is relatively cooler.

4. Light Clothing and Hydration

Wearing light and breathable clothing is essential to stay comfortable in Kolkata’s hot and humid climate. Additionally, staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water and consuming fluids like coconut water and lemonade helps 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 and lowers the overall temperature of the city. The moisture in the air and the cooling effect of the rain provide relief from the scorching heat.

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4. Are there any specific precautions to take during the summer months in Kolkata?

During the summer months, it is advisable to stay hydrated, wear light clothing, and avoid prolonged exposure to the sun. It is also important to protect oneself from heat-related illnesses by staying in shaded areas and using sunscreen.

5. How does the urban heat island effect impact Kolkata’s temperature?

The urban heat island effect contributes to higher temperatures in urban areas compared to the surrounding rural regions. The extensive concrete structures and lack of green spaces trap heat, making the city hotter during the summer months.

Summary

Kolkata’s temperature is influenced by various factors, including its proximity to the Bay of Bengal, monsoon winds, urban heat island effect, and topography. 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 practices such as air conditioning, traditional cooling methods, avoiding outdoor activities during the hottest parts of the day, and wearing light clothing. Understanding the temperature patterns in Kolkata is crucial for both residents and visitors to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience in the city.

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