Mumbai, Dec 5 (PTI) With Mumbai recording the season's lowest minimum temperature at 18.4 degree Celsius on Saturday, and most other parts of Maharashtra also witnessing an overall drop in the mercury levels, it could be an onset of winter, an IMD official here said.
Cyclones and severe depressions in the Bay of Bengal had delayed the arrival of winter in the state, the official from the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Mumbai said.
'With their weakening, several regions in the state have recorded a drop in the minimum temperature. This could be the beginning of the winter season in the state,' he said.
According to the IMD, the Santacruz observatory in Mumbai on Saturday morning recorded a minimum temperature of 18.4 degree Celsius, which is the lowest so far this season.
The departure from normal temperature was by 1.4 degree Celsius.
The same observatory had on Friday recorded a minimum temperature of 19 degree Celsius, a drop by one degree Celsius from the normal, the official said.
On Saturday, some other regions of the state also witnessed a drop in the minimum temperature. Parbhani in Marathwada region recorded 10.6 degree Celsius, Gondia in Vidarbha region 10.5 degree Celsius, Nashik in north Maharashtra 11.1 degree Celsius and Satara and Pune in western Maharashtra 13 and 11.5 degree Celsius respectively, the IMD said.
The highest departure in temperature was recorded at Parbhani, where it dropped four degree Celsius below normal, he said.
Winter plays a crucial role in the growth of Rabi crops, such as jowar, wheat and green gram and also triggers flowering in mango trees.
'For good flowering of mango trees, there needs to be a drop in temperature. This will help the trees bear fruits from February onwards and can be harvested from April in Maharashtra,' an agriculture expert said.
Maharashtra is a major producer and exporter of Alphonso mangoes in the country. PTI ND ARU NP NP