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Nilgiris In South Witness Unusual Frigid Conditions, Mercury Plunges Near Zero

January 23, 2024 9:04 AM |

The entire south peninsula escapes the winter chill, which otherwise is so prevalent over north and central parts of the country. However, there are few mountain ranges, elevating as high as 8,000 feet or more in Tamil Nadu, exhibiting winter chill in the month of January.  Nilgiris and Palani mountains steal the limelight to offer crisp cold, without any snowfall. Nilgiris is in news for plunging mercury to near-freeze level, raising discomfort for locals and visitors.

Nilgiris mountains are nearly freezing with the mercury plunging to a very low single digit, a little unusual to the region as such.  Kanthal and Thalaikuntha in Udhagamandalam division slipped to 1°C, while the mercury was a notch higher at 2°C in the Botanical Garden. Ooty proper has an elevation of about 7,500 feet and frequently dips to about 5°C. However, prolonged spells of low single digits are not very common. Accompanied dense fog and frost conditions have further aggravated the climatic conditions this winter.

In the neighbourhood, there is another popular hilly resort of Kodaikanal. This favourite destination in the Palani Hills range has an elevation of 7,800 feet. Kodaikanal sits on a plateau above the southern escarpment of the upper Palani Hills between the Parappar and Gundar valleys. Though, a bit higher, the temperature occasionally drops to 4°C or less.  

These two ranges, Nilgiris and Palani, had good rains in the month of December. Even, the start of January also witnessed stray showers on a few occasions. Now, the northeast monsoon has withdrawn from the region. Rains will be far and few and dry cold is likely to prevail. The mercury levels are likely to drop for both ranges during the 4th week of January. Extreme cold may affect the tea plantation and vegetable section, troubling the farming community during the remaining days of January.

Image Credit: hindustantimes

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