Monsoon hits Gangetic Bengal 9 days after arrival date

Monsoon today reached Gangetic West Bengal nine days after its normal arrival date of June 8, reducing fears of a drought in the southern districts of the state that have been hit by severe heatwave conditions over the past few weeks.

The monsoon currents are, however, not very strong and it will take some more time for the intensity of the rainfall to rise, regional met office sources said here.

Rain or thundershower would occur at many places in Gangetic West Bengal, the met office said in its forecast till tomorrow.

Three districts of Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Coochbehar in North Bengal have been experiencing heavy rainfall for the last several days and the monsoons have so far been normal in the upper reaches of the state.

The severe heatwave condition in southern and western districts of the state, with temperatures reaching up to 46.5 deg C at Panagarh in Burdwan district, has claimed the lives of over 60 people in the last couple of weeks.

The highest number of people died in Asansol, bordering the coal mine areas in Burdwan district, owing to severe heat conditions.

People in these districts heaved a sigh of relief with overcast skies bringing the temperature down and spells of rain cooling the parched ground.

The movement of the monsoon into Gangetic West Bengal, which was predicted to enter around Tuesday next, was hastened by a low pressure in north-west Bay of Bengal.
The metropolis was hit by rains last evening which continued into the night, recording a total rainfall of 35 mm till this morning, met department said. The downpour brought down night temperatures to 24.6 deg C, two notches below normal.

The day time highest temperature, which has been hovering around 40 deg C for the last few weeks, was a comfortable 34 deg C in Kolkata.

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