Peak summer days are still a month away. But, sultry weather is already upon residents of the city.
Even as weather observatories recorded close to normal day temperature on Monday, Chennai residents are experiencing more heat. Nungambakkam registered 33.5 degree Celsius against its normal of 32.8 degree Celsius during this month. Similarly, Meenambakkam too registered a day temperature of 35 degree Celsius, one degree above the month’s average.
Motorists in the city said that the days are becoming warmer and the transition to sunny weather has been rather sudden. “It gets warm as early as 8 a.m. now. Travelling during noon hours is especially difficult,” said V. Aparna who works in Nungambakkam.
Meteorologists in the city said that residents on the move would feel that the day was hotter than it actually is.
The sun’s rays begin to hit at a sharp angle around this time and people who are outdoors begin to experience the discomfort. The redeeming factor for residents this month has been the easterlies, which bring in cool air and have helped maintain the temperature at near normal levels. However, the maximum temperature in city did rise up to 35 degree Celsius, two degree Celsius above normal, on March 21 and March 22. Several places in the interior of the State are already experiencing scorching weather and the mercury level has already soared to 38-39 degree Celsius.
Y.E.A.Raj, deputy director general of meteorology, Regional Meteorological Centre, Chennai, said that the trend would reverse as peak summer approaches with westerly winds bringing in hot air to the city. The onset of sea breeze, which has pivotal role in cooling the surface, would then determine the day temperature.
The increase in day time during summer months is also likely to contribute to residents’ discomfort. Last year, March 21 was the hottest day in the month with the city recording 36.3 degree Celsius. The decade’s hottest day in March was when Chennai registered 37.7 degree Celsius on March 10.
A few districts in extreme southern part of the State, such as Tirunelveli and Nagercoil, may receive some showers in the next two days. The meteorological department forecast that the weather pattern in Chennai will remain the same.