At 3 p.m., the sky darkens as a 12-kilometer-high cloud mass dumps 100 millimetres of rain on Kolkata.

51649620712-kilometer-high-cloud-mass-dumps-100-millimetres-of-rain-on-Kolkata.jpg

By: Priyanka Sikdar

Last Update: 2021-07-09 16:51:27 IST

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On Wednesday afternoon, a 10- to 12-kilometer-long cloud mass blanketed the city, prompting drivers to turn on their headlights. By 2.40 p.m., numerous street lamps had to be turned on as well.

At 3 p.m., the sky darkens as a 12-kilometer-high cloud mass dumps 100 millimetres of rain on Kolkata.

On Wednesday afternoon, a 10- to 12-kilometer-long cloud mass blanketed the city, prompting drivers to turn on their headlights. By 2.40 p.m., numerous street lamps had to be turned on as well. The cloud mass drifted towards the city from Bangladesh, causing the evening darkness to arrive early. The cloud was so dense, according to weathermen, that it managed to block out even the tiniest rays of the sun, resulting in near-total darkness. The clouds were followed by severe rain and frequent lightning. On Wednesday, between 8.30 a.m. and 5.30 p.m., Kolkata received 97.1 millimetres of rain.

According to weathermen, a cloud mass of this density and height had not travelled across the city in a long time. The monsoon trough that presently travels between Uttar Pradesh and the north Bay of Bengal, sweeping over Bengal and Bangladesh, had prompted it. “This massive cloud mass had blown in from Bangladesh, crossing the North and South 24 Parganas on its way to Kolkata. “While areas of south Kolkata were affected, the thunderstorm and the rain that it caused hit north, east, and central Kolkata the hardest,” said G K Das, head of the Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC).

Due to the bad weather, four flights that were scheduled to arrive in New York had to be diverted to Kolkata. IndiGo flights to Bhubaneswar were diverted from Bengaluru, Chennai, Patna, and Dibrugarh.

The rain was so intense and visibility was so bad in several parts of central and north Kolkata that traffic came to a halt. “Visibility was nearly non-existent, even with wipers on. Jaydip Ray, who was travelling to work in central Kolkata, stated, “I chose to park my car and wait over 40 minutes for the rain to stop.”

The torrential downpour hindered visibility and made it difficult to sustain operations for an hour between 2.30 and 3.30 p.m. However, it appeared that north Kolkata was bearing the brunt of the rain, with locations such as Ultadanga, Maniktala, Belgachhia, and Beliaghata receiving over 50mm of rain between 2pm and 3pm, resulting in waterlogging. Ballygunge, Jodhpur Park, Mominpur, Kalight, and Behala also had heavy rainfall later in the afternoon.

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