Saturday, May 12, 2007


GANGTOK, 10 May: The increasing heat and rise in the day-time temperature here in the Capital has left many of us thinking that something is really amiss with the weather lately.

While we have been experiencing extreme heat, and regular thunder showers in the afternoon and in the nights, the Meteorological Department here is of the opinion that it is not so unusual phenomenon this time of the year.

“Climate is a natural phenomenon and it is difficult to determine the exact inconsistent regarding the abrupt altercation of weather,” says M Das, Assistant Meteorologist at the Meteorological Cente here at Baluwakhani. The average temperature in Gangtok over the last few weeks has been between 22-27 degree Celsius, with thunder showers in many parts of the State. If we look into the data available with the Met Office, the average mean temperature for Gangtok has been 21.6 degree Celsius during 1968-1997 for the month the May. For Tadong, it has been 26.2 degree Celsius for the same period.

Mr. Das informs that there has been a slight increase in the day temperature mainly due to deforestation urbanization and global warming. While thunder showers were quite normal during this time of the year, the Monsoons are yet to begin. “The onset of Monsoon this year will probably start from June 10,” he says.

Broadly speaking, the density of population, the distance between tall buildings, vehicular population and industrial development play an important role in controlling the urban climate. Also cold wave conditions have now become few and far between, which may again be attributed to the cause of rise in minimum temperature over Gangtok. However no remarkable change in rainfall pattern over the State has been found.

Here is a look at the “Significant Past Weather” complied by the Met Office for the period of May 3-9, 2007 to get a fairly good idea of our local climatic conditions.

The sky remained generally cloudy during the period with the highest amount of rainfall of 008.7mm recorded over Tadong on May 7. Light to moderate rain occurred at many places on 4 May and 7 to 9 May. Rainfall was scanty during the period.

Day and Night temperatures varied between 23 to 26 deg C and 16 to 17 deg C, respectively over Gangtok and 26 to 31 deg C & 17 to 18 deg C, respectively over Tadong. Day temperatures were 1 to 5 deg C above normal during the period. Night temperatures were 2 to 5 deg C above normal during the period in East Sikkim. The highest maximum temperature was 30.5 deg C at Tadong on 5 May. The average Relative Humidity was 74 percent over Gangtok and 63 percent over Tadong.