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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 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:

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  • 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 have a cooling effect on the city, providing relief from the scorching summer heat.
  • Proximity to the Sea: Kolkata is located near the Bay of Bengal, which moderates the city’s temperature. The sea breeze helps in keeping the temperature relatively lower compared to inland areas.
  • Topography: The presence of the Hooghly River and the surrounding wetlands affects the temperature of Kolkata. The water bodies help in maintaining a slightly cooler microclimate in the city.
  • Urban Heat Island Effect: Like many other metropolitan cities, Kolkata experiences the urban heat island effect. The extensive concrete structures, lack of green spaces, and high population density contribute to higher temperatures in urban areas compared to the surrounding rural regions.

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:

  • Using Fans and Air Conditioners: Air circulation is crucial in Kolkata’s hot and humid climate. Most households and commercial establishments are equipped with fans and air conditioners to provide relief from the heat.
  • Wearing Light and Breathable Clothing: Lightweight and loose-fitting clothing made from natural fabrics like cotton and linen are preferred in Kolkata’s hot weather. These materials allow better airflow and help in keeping the body cool.
  • Staying Hydrated: Drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated is essential to prevent dehydration and heat-related illnesses. Kolkata’s street vendors offer a variety of refreshing beverages like coconut water, lemonade, and sugarcane juice to help beat the heat.
  • Seeking Shade: When outdoors, seeking shade under trees or using umbrellas can provide respite from the direct sunlight. Many parks and gardens in Kolkata offer shaded areas for people to relax and escape the heat.
  • Modifying Daily Routine: Kolkata’s residents often adjust their daily routines to avoid the hottest parts of the day. Outdoor activities are planned for early mornings or evenings when the temperature is relatively cooler.
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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 from November to February, with temperatures ranging from 15°C (59°F) to 25°C (77°F).

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

The monsoon season, from June to September, brings heavy rainfall to Kolkata and helps in cooling down the temperature. However, the humidity levels during this period can be quite high.

4. What is the urban heat island effect?

The urban heat island effect refers to the phenomenon where urban areas experience higher temperatures compared to the surrounding rural regions due to human activities, lack of green spaces, and the extensive use of concrete and asphalt.

5. How do people in Kolkata stay cool during the summer?

People in Kolkata stay cool during the summer by using fans and air conditioners, wearing light and breathable clothing, staying hydrated, seeking shade, and modifying their daily routines to avoid the hottest parts of the day.

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Summary

Kolkata’s temperature is influenced by various factors such as monsoon winds, proximity to the sea, topography, and the urban heat island effect. 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 by using fans and air conditioners, wearing light clothing, staying hydrated, seeking shade, and modifying their daily routines. Understanding the temperature patterns and adopting appropriate strategies can help individuals navigate the climate of Kolkata more comfortably.

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