Unprecedented Cold Grips Tamil Nadu, Raising Alarms Among Experts and Locals

In a surprising turn of events, certain areas in Tamil Nadu are experiencing near-zero temperatures, causing experts to express their concerns. Official data reveals that Kanthal and Thalaikuntha in Udhagamandalam recorded temperatures as low as 1 degree Celsius, with the Botanical Garden slightly higher at 2 degrees Celsius and Sandynallah at 3 degrees Celsius. This unexpected cold spell has brought about an unseasonal climatic phenomenon, impacting both the local residents and agricultural activities in the region.

The once vibrant green lawns now lie under a blanket of frost, and dense fog is hampering visibility, posing health challenges for the local population. The unusual combination of cold and dry weather has taken residents by surprise, prompting many to gather around bonfires in an attempt to stay warm.

Expressing their concerns, residents and environmental activists are troubled by this ‘unseasonal’ cold gripping the mountains. V Sivadas from the Nilgiri Environment Social Trust (NEST) attributes this shift to global warming and the El NiƱo effect. He emphasizes the need for a comprehensive study to understand the implications of this delayed onset of cold weather on the Nilgiris.

The extensive tea plantations in the region, a major economic activity, are facing challenges due to heavy December rains and the subsequent cold period. R Sukumaran, the secretary of a local tea workers union, fears a potential decline in production in the upcoming months.

Vegetable farmers are reporting adverse effects on their crops, particularly cabbages. The unexpected weather conditions are causing disruptions in the normal agricultural cycle, raising concerns about the overall impact on crop yields.

Government employee N Ravichandran highlights the practical difficulties faced by residents in these conditions. Despite wearing appropriate attire, commuting on two-wheelers has become challenging, leading to health issues such as difficulty in breathing, severe headaches, and fever. The general sentiment among the population is a plea for a closer examination of this climatic anomaly and its potential long-term consequences on both livelihoods and well-being.