CHENNAI: From a cool 26 degree Celsius to a burning 40 degree mark is how the mercury level spiked in just three days. Ever since Cyclone Roanu passed by the coast of Chennai on May 18, when a maximum temperature of 26.2 degrees Celsius was recorded, it became increasingly warmer day by day.
According to weather observers, what happened last week - low temperature because of sustained rain - was an exception and not the norm in May.
The maximum temperature recorded in Chennai on Sunday was 39.6 degree Celsius. The forecast for the next few days doesn’t look encouraging with the temperature poised to creep up further.
Even as late as 5 pm on Sunday, the temperature was hovering around the 37 degree mark.
This explained the uneasiness felt by residents throughout the day. The maximum temperature was recorded around the 3pm mark, which weathermen say is a tad unusual.
“It can be attributed to the delayed arrival or at times an almost nonexistent sea breeze. On Sunday, if the sea breeze had set in, the temperature at 3 pm wouldn’t be 37, but around 32 degree Celsius,” said a met official.
He however added that the temperature was only a notch higher than the long period average of 37 degree, as per the records of the Meteorological Department.
Weather observers say the temperature peaks around the second half of May as sea breeze which moderates day temperature is delayed because of strong westerly winds.
“During the second half of May, there is complete dominance of Westerlies which then results in day-time temperatures averaging around 38-39 degree Celsius.
The present surge in temperature is a typical May end scenario,” said S Chandramouli, of Kea Weather blog.
The last two years had seen five consecutive days of 40+ temperatures during the last week of May. Last year, the hottest day was on May 25 when Chennai sizzled at 42.2 degree Celsius. With the temperature staying at 39 for the past two days, this year too looks way hot for Chennai.