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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 levels during this period can be quite high, 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 during this period helps in cooling down 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 the absorption and retention of heat, leading to higher temperatures in urban areas compared to the surrounding rural regions.

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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 due to the trapping of heat by pollutants in the atmosphere. This phenomenon, known as the greenhouse effect, can further exacerbate the already hot climate 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, wet towels, and matkas (earthen pots filled with water), are still prevalent in Kolkata. These methods help in reducing the perceived temperature and provide relief from the heat.

2. Air Conditioning and Fans

With the advent of modern technology, air conditioning and fans have become common in households, offices, and public spaces. These cooling appliances help create a comfortable indoor environment, especially during the scorching summer months.

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3. Avoiding Outdoor Activities During Peak Heat

During the peak summer months, when the temperature is at its highest, people in Kolkata tend to avoid outdoor activities during the hottest part 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 in combating the heat.

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 sea breeze affect Kolkata’s temperature?

The sea breeze from the Bay of Bengal helps moderate Kolkata’s temperature, providing some relief from the intense heat during the summer months.

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4. What is the monsoon season in Kolkata?

The monsoon season in Kolkata typically lasts from June to September, bringing heavy rainfall to the city.

5. How does air pollution affect Kolkata’s temperature?

Air pollution can contribute to an increase in temperature in Kolkata due to the trapping of heat by pollutants in the atmosphere. This phenomenon, known as the greenhouse effect, can further intensify the city’s already hot climate.

Summary

Kolkata’s temperature is influenced by various factors, including its proximity to the Bay of Bengal, monsoon winds, urban heat island effect, and pollution levels. 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 heat, and staying hydrated. Understanding the temperature patterns and adopting appropriate measures can help individuals navigate the climate of Kolkata more comfortably.

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