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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. The winter months, from November to February, are relatively mild, with temperatures ranging from 15°C (59°F) to 25°C (77°F).

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Factors Influencing Temperature

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

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1. Monsoon Winds

The monsoon winds from the Bay of Bengal have a significant impact on Kolkata’s temperature. During the summer months, the southwest monsoon brings in warm and moist air, leading to high temperatures and humidity. Conversely, during the winter months, the northeast monsoon brings in cooler and drier air, resulting in milder temperatures.

2. Urban Heat Island Effect

As a densely populated city with extensive concrete structures, Kolkata experiences the urban heat island effect. This phenomenon occurs when urban areas retain more heat than surrounding rural areas due to human activities and the built environment. The heat-absorbing properties of concrete and asphalt, coupled with the lack of green spaces, contribute to higher temperatures in the city.

3. Proximity to the Sea

Kolkata’s proximity to the Bay of Bengal influences its temperature. The sea acts as a moderating factor, preventing extreme temperature fluctuations. The sea breeze that blows inland during the day helps cool down the city, while the land breeze at night brings in cooler air from the land.

Coping with the Climate

The residents of Kolkata have developed various strategies to cope with the city’s temperature fluctuations. These strategies range from lifestyle adjustments to the use of technology.

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1. Traditional Cooling Methods

Traditional cooling methods, such as using hand fans and wearing lightweight and breathable clothing, are still prevalent in Kolkata. These methods help individuals stay comfortable during the hot and humid summer months.

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2. Air Conditioning

With the advent of technology, air conditioning has become increasingly popular in Kolkata. Air conditioners provide relief from the scorching heat and humidity, especially in homes, offices, and public spaces. However, the increased energy consumption associated with air conditioning contributes to environmental concerns.

3. Green Spaces and Urban Planning

Efforts are being made to incorporate more green spaces into Kolkata’s urban landscape. Parks, gardens, and tree-lined streets not only provide shade but also help reduce the urban heat island effect. Urban planning initiatives that prioritize green infrastructure can significantly contribute to temperature regulation in the city.

Q&A

1. How hot does Kolkata get during the summer?

Kolkata experiences extremely hot temperatures during the summer, with the mercury often crossing 40°C (104°F). The combination of high temperatures and humidity can make it uncomfortable for outdoor activities.

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2. Does Kolkata experience winter?

Yes, Kolkata does experience winter, although it is relatively mild compared to other parts of India. The winter months, from November to February, see temperatures ranging from 15°C (59°F) to 25°C (77°F).

3. How do people in Kolkata cope with the heat?

People in Kolkata cope with the heat by using traditional cooling methods such as hand fans and wearing lightweight clothing. Air conditioning is also widely used in homes, offices, and public spaces.

4. Does Kolkata’s proximity to the sea affect its temperature?

Yes, Kolkata’s proximity to the Bay of Bengal influences its temperature. The sea acts as a moderating factor, preventing extreme temperature fluctuations. The sea breeze during the day helps cool down the city, while the land breeze at night brings in cooler air from the land.

See also  The Temperature of Kolkata: A Comprehensive Guide

5. What is the urban heat island effect?

The urban heat island effect refers to the phenomenon where urban areas retain more heat than surrounding rural areas due to human activities and the built environment. In Kolkata, the extensive concrete structures and lack of green spaces contribute to higher temperatures in the city.

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Summary

Kolkata’s temperature is influenced by various factors, including monsoon winds, the urban heat island effect, and its proximity to the sea. The city experiences hot and humid summers, with temperatures often exceeding 40°C (104°F), and mild winters, with temperatures ranging from 15°C (59°F) to 25°C (77°F). The residents of Kolkata cope with the temperature fluctuations through traditional cooling methods, air conditioning, and urban planning initiatives that prioritize green spaces. Understanding the climate of Kolkata is essential for both residents and visitors to make informed decisions and adapt to the city’s unique weather patterns.

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