It was hot ! Mumbai S'Cruz was hot on 21st, with the mercury scaling to 39.1c as the high.
However,35 kms downtown, Colaba was at 35.2c as the highest today. What a contrast, 4c between the two stations on 21st Feb. And the expected declaration ! Mumbai was the highest in Asia on Tuesday.
I Would attribute the rise in temperature to a sticky and unrelenting NE breeze "regime". In spite of very strong westerly winds dominating the N. Gujarat and Kutch regions, it has, surprisingly not been able to "cut off" the NE winds below this westerly belt.
The NE winds are blowing in a narrow corridor from land to sea over North Konkan. See chart here.
A wind shear "barrier" prevents the N/NW winds from penetrating below the Gujarat region today.This has resulted in intense heat over the Konkan coast, with Ratnagiri also recording 39c today.
Hopefully it would retrieve and allow NW winds into the Konkan belt by Wednesday.
Traditionally hot Akola was 38.5c today.
However, some consolation for Mumbaites:
Highest ever in Feb was 39.6c on 25th Feb 1966 at S'Cruz and 38.3c in Colaba on 28th 1949.
Remember, public memory is short...it was in 2006, only 6 years back, that we saw a very hot February. And that too was spreading heat almost all over the Southern, Central and Northern regions of India.
That year, In 2006, heat began from early Feb itself for Mumbai, with the temp shooting to 37.5c on 2nd Feb and again on 4th Feb. On that date, Goa was 36.2c and Surat 36.2c.
By 20th Feb 2006, we had Akola at 39.7c, Bhubaneshwar 38.7c, Indore 37.5c, Mumbai 36.2c, Pune 36.4c, Simla's low was 12.5c, and it was the "warmest" night (highest low) ever for Feb.
On 22nd Feb 2006, Akola touches 40.5c. Incidently, as per records maintained by Vagaries, this is the earliest date to touch 40c, anywhere in India, since 1979. and 40c has not been recorded in Feb since.
Other places on 22nd Feb 2006 were: Bhubaneshwar 38.6c,Nagpur 38.1c, Bhopal 37.3c, Kurnool 37.6c, Aurangabad 36.6c, Surat 36.8c, and Delhi Palam 33.1c,
In Fact, Nagpur's highest Feb temp ever was 39.2c on 24th Feb 2006. When, on that day in 2006, Mumbai was S'Cruz @ 37.6 and Colaba @ 36.9c
A look at this Chart of the 2006 winter, shows the graph going "Red" straight away from early Feb.
So, take solace in the fact, 2006 was far hotter. In fact, Feb 2012 was much cooler and better off till the 20th.Should surely improve very soon !