However, hot winds blew until late in the evening and it turned out to be a sultry day

The city, after reeling under hot weather conditions for the past few days, witnessed a slight dip in the mercury level on Friday, which marked the summer solstice of the year.

However, many residents said persistent hot air made their day uncomfortable.

On the longest day of the year, the day temperature dipped to 38.7 degree Celsius and 38.5 degree Celsius in Nungambakkam and Meenambakkam, respectively.

Though Friday’s temperature was lower than on preceding days when the mercury level touched nearly 40 degree, it was still two degrees above normal.

Residents said it was a cloudy day. But hot winds blew until late evening and it turned out to be a sultry day.

Officials of the meteorological department said the onset of the sea breeze determined the day temperature.

If the onset is delayed by a longer period of time, the mercury level is higher. As it then takes more time to drop, the heat lingers for a longer duration in a day.

On Friday, the westerlies were so strong that time of setting of the sea breeze could not be clearly determined. For the past few days, the sea breeze set in between 3.30 p.m. and 5 p.m., which resulted in the soaring temperatures.

S.R. Ramanan, director of the Area Cyclone Warning Centre, said that upper air circulation over the Bay of Bengal had brought in more cloud cover. But it did not provide the much-needed respite to the city, thanks to the strong westerlies.

While there may be isolated rainfall in the city, the trend of soaring mercury levels would continue for some more days, Mr. Ramanan said.

The month of June usually experiences hot days, with the temperatures often rising over 40 degree Celsius. Last year, the day temperature in the city peaked at 42.4 degree Celsius on June 3.

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