Monsoon set to arrive in Calcutta on Saturday

Dark clouds over the Hooghly around 11am on Friday.

The monsoon reached the doorstep of Calcutta on Friday and should set foot in the city over the next 24 hours, said Met officials.

A low-pressure area over the northwest Bay of Bengal on Friday is expected to move in a west-northwest direction, propelling the monsoon into most of south Bengal, Odisha, Bihar and Jharkhand.

The monsoon had set foot in north Bengal on June 7.

“Southwest Monsoon has advanced into more parts of West Bengal today, 11th June, 2021. The Northern Limit of Monsoon (NLM) passes through Balangir, Puri (both in Odisha), Canning, Krishnanagar and Malda,” said a statement from the India Meteorological Department, Calcutta.

Canning in South 24-Parganas is around 80km from the heart of Calcutta.

“Most of the conditions for the onset of the monsoon are visible in Calcutta. The southwesterly winds are here. The clouds that gathered over the city on Friday are monsoon clouds. But there has to be a spell or two of uniform and widespread rain for us to declare that the monsoon has reached Calcutta. The city should get that over the next 24 hours,” G.K. Das, director, IMD Calcutta, told The Telegraph in the afternoon.

For most of Friday, the sky was overcast over Calcutta. Several pockets like Dum Dum, Salt Lake, Alipore and Behala saw some rain. The clouds became more prominent towards the evening and a fresh spell of rain started around 6.30pm.

Till evening, the showers did not live up to the expectations. “The system is headed towards Odisha. That is why the impact was less than expected in south Bengal,” said a Met official.

The wet spell and overcast conditions will stay for the next 3-4 days, he said.

High tide

The possibility of heavy rain under the impact of the low-pressure area, combined with high tide on Friday, had triggered fears of a rise in the water levels of the Hooghly and waterlogging of the low-lying areas of the city.

But since the city did not get even moderate rain for most of the day, waterlogging was not reported.

“The high tide period was from 9am to 2pm. The lock gates were shut from 11.30am to 3.30pm,” said Tarak Singh, a member of the board of administrators of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation.

Another high tide was expected between 11pm on Friday and 3am on Saturday. “Waterlogging is inevitable if the closure of lock gates coincides with heavy rain,” said a CMC official.

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