Residents cheered the dip in temperatures which had soared into the 40s last week

After several gruelling days, Chennaiites were in for a surprise on Monday. Many residents woke up to overcast skies and pleasant weather as the day temperature dropped significantly.

The maximum temperature, which peaked at above 40 degree Celsius last week, dipped to 36.6 degree Celsius in Nungambakkam.

This is one degree below the average temperature recorded during May. Residents of Meenambakkam also experienced much- needed respite as the temperature dropped to 36.4 degree Celsius, which was six degrees lower than Sunday’s temperature.

A system over Bay of Bengal, which is intensifying as a prelude to the onset of southwest monsoon, had resulted in clouding over some parts. Officials of the Meteorological department said that while the system that would contribute to the onset of the southwest monsoon was being monitored, the extension of clouding over Chennai and its neighbourhood was a sudden development.

Y.E.A. Raj, deputy director general of meteorology, Regional Meteorological Centre, Chennai, said that the clouding that penetrated several kilometres into Chennai was one of the factors behind the early onset of sea breeze. The significant drop in Monday’s temperature was due to sea breeze intervening at 11.30 a.m.

Clouding had weakened the north-westerly component, which brings in hot air. On Sunday, sea breeze had set in around 2.15 p.m.

Is this an indication of peak summer winding up? Mr. Raj said that that the decrease in temperature depends on the clouding. Some coastal districts in northern Tamil Nadu have already received rains. Some more showers are expected over the northern Tamil Nadu, including Chennai.

The department forecasts that rain or thundershowers may occur till Wednesday and the maximum temperature would be around 36 degree Celsius.

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