After a seemingly interminable spell of scorching heat, the city finally got a hugely welcome, if brief, break in the form of a heavy drizzle on Tuesday. According to Meteorological Department officials, the weather is likely to stay this way — with clouds, cool winds, and evening thundershowers — for at least another 48 hours.
Several parts of the city, including the HAL Airport, Yelahanka, Chandra Layout, R.T. Nagar and some parts of the city centre, saw spells of light rainfall, enough to put the brakes on the rising mercury. Some areas such as Hebbal flyover reported flooding and people reported stray cases of fallen tree branches.
The month of March has been sweltering to say the least, with temperatures going up to 35.7 degrees a few days ago. The Met Department recorded 34.9 degrees on Tuesday.
As hot as it may seem, “these temperatures are fairly normal for this time of year,” according to the duty officer at the meteorological centre. “The highest temperature recorded in the month of March in Bangalore was 37.3 degrees Celsius.” This record was set in 1996, he added.
The official said that the rainfall owed to the continuous days of high temperature. “The clouds and thundershowers are a result of the build-up of heat and are localised only to parts of south Karnataka,” he said, adding there was no larger system of low pressure either over the Bay of Bengal or the Arabian Sea that had caused this change in weather.
While such spells of rainfall, however light, might bring temporary respite, temperatures are only likely to rise in the next few weeks, the official said. The month of April is by far the hottest month in the city, he added. Although Bangalore has seen hotter weather in past years, our ability to cope with extreme weather has diminished, say environmentalists who hold the indiscriminate felling of trees responsible for the “urban heat island effect”.