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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 that is known for its rich cultural heritage, historical landmarks, and mouth-watering cuisine. However, one aspect of Kolkata that often goes unnoticed is its unique climate and temperature patterns. In this article, we will delve into the temperature of Kolkata, exploring its seasonal variations, extreme weather events, and the impact of climate change. So, let’s dive in and uncover the fascinating world of Kolkata’s temperature!

The Seasonal Temperature Variations in 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 influences its temperature patterns. Here is a breakdown of the seasonal temperature variations in Kolkata:

Summer (March to May)

Summers in Kolkata are notoriously hot and humid, with temperatures often soaring above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit). The city experiences scorching heatwaves during this period, making it uncomfortable for residents and visitors alike. The humidity levels also remain high, adding to the discomfort. It is advisable to stay hydrated and seek shade or air-conditioned spaces during the peak summer months.

Monsoon (June to September)

The monsoon season brings relief from the sweltering heat of summer. Kolkata receives a significant amount of rainfall during this period, with the monsoon winds bringing moisture from the Bay of Bengal. The average rainfall in Kolkata during the monsoon season is around 1,500 millimeters (59 inches). The temperature drops slightly during this time, ranging between 25 to 35 degrees Celsius (77 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit). However, the humidity levels remain high, making it feel warmer than it actually is.

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Autumn (October to November)

Autumn in Kolkata is a pleasant season, with temperatures ranging between 20 to 30 degrees Celsius (68 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit). The humidity levels decrease, and the city experiences clear skies and comfortable weather. This is a popular time for outdoor activities and festivals in Kolkata, such as Durga Puja, which is celebrated with great fervor and enthusiasm.

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Winter (December to February)

Winters in Kolkata are mild and enjoyable, with temperatures ranging between 12 to 25 degrees Celsius (54 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit). The city experiences cool and dry weather during this period, making it an ideal time to explore the city’s attractions. However, it is advisable to carry a light jacket or sweater, especially during the evenings, as the temperature can drop further.

Extreme Weather Events in Kolkata

While Kolkata generally experiences a predictable climate, it is not immune to extreme weather events. Here are some notable instances of extreme weather in Kolkata:

Cyclones

Kolkata is located in a region prone to cyclones, particularly during the pre-monsoon and post-monsoon seasons. Cyclone Amphan, which struck Kolkata in May 2020, was one of the most devastating cyclones in recent history. It caused widespread destruction, including damage to infrastructure, uprooting of trees, and flooding in low-lying areas. The cyclone served as a wake-up call for the city to strengthen its disaster preparedness and climate resilience.

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Heatwaves

Heatwaves are a recurring phenomenon in Kolkata, especially during the summer months. In recent years, the frequency and intensity of heatwaves have increased due to climate change. These extreme heat events pose a significant risk to public health, particularly for vulnerable populations such as the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions. It is crucial for the city to implement measures to mitigate the impact of heatwaves, including the provision of cooling centers and public awareness campaigns.

The Impact of Climate Change on Kolkata’s Temperature

Like many other cities around the world, Kolkata is grappling with the effects of climate change. Rising global temperatures and changing weather patterns have a direct impact on the city’s temperature. Here are some key ways in which climate change is influencing Kolkata’s temperature:

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Increased Average Temperature

Over the past few decades, Kolkata has witnessed a gradual increase in its average temperature. This rise in temperature is primarily attributed to greenhouse gas emissions and the resulting global warming. The city’s urban heat island effect, caused by the concentration of buildings and concrete, exacerbates the temperature increase. It is estimated that Kolkata’s average temperature has risen by approximately 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) since the mid-20th century.

Changing Rainfall Patterns

Climate change is also altering Kolkata’s rainfall patterns. While the city receives a significant amount of rainfall during the monsoon season, there has been a noticeable shift in the timing and intensity of rainfall. Some years witness prolonged dry spells, leading to water scarcity, while others experience intense downpours, resulting in flooding. These erratic rainfall patterns pose challenges for urban planning and water management in the city.

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Rising Sea Levels

Kolkata is located on the eastern bank of the Hooghly River, which eventually merges with the Bay of Bengal. As global sea levels rise due to climate change, the city is at risk of coastal flooding. Low-lying areas, such as the Sundarbans, are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of rising sea levels. The city needs to develop robust adaptation strategies to protect its coastal areas and communities.

Q&A

1. How hot does Kolkata get in summer?

Kolkata experiences scorching summers, with temperatures often exceeding 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit). The combination of high temperatures and humidity levels can make it extremely uncomfortable during this season.

2. Does Kolkata experience snowfall?

No, Kolkata does not experience snowfall. The city’s climate is tropical, and the temperatures rarely drop low enough for snow to form. Winters in Kolkata are mild and enjoyable, with temperatures ranging between 12 to 25 degrees Celsius (54 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit).

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3. How does Kolkata cope with extreme heatwaves?

Kolkata has been implementing various measures to cope with extreme heatwaves. These include the establishment of cooling centers in public spaces, distribution of free drinking water, and public awareness campaigns to educate residents about the importance of staying hydrated and seeking shade during hot weather.

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4. What is the impact of climate change on Kolkata’s temperature?

Climate change has led to an increase in Kolkata’s average temperature. The city has also witnessed changing rainfall patterns and is at risk of coastal flooding due to rising sea levels. These impacts necessitate the development of climate resilience strategies and adaptation measures.

5. How can individuals contribute to mitigating the impact

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