Ooty, a picturesque hill station in Tamil Nadu, recorded its lowest winter temperature this season at 0.8°C on Monday. The sudden drop in temperature turned the town into a winter wonderland, with frost covering many parts.
The chilling weather disrupted daily life, prompting residents to gather around bonfires for warmth.
On Sunday, Ooty witnessed a minimum temperature of 1.3°C, accompanied by frost, transforming the hill station into a mini-Kashmir.
The biting cold has persisted for the past two weeks during evenings and mornings, with a daily minimum temperature hovering around 2 degrees Celsius.
Despite the chilly nights, the daytime temperature remains pleasant with a typical winter blue sky. The maximum temperature recorded on Monday was 23.2°C.
Farmers reported damage to the top parts of tea plants in several tea gardens around Ooty due to the extreme cold. While the winter season usually results in lower tea yield, farmers anticipate a positive impact on future yields due to the current cold spell.
Frost formation was observed in various areas, including Thalakundha, Kandal, Fern Hill, and the Government Botanical Garden in Ooty.
Unlike the annual frost period from November to February, this year’s frost began in late January, attributed to stormy rains.
While North India grapples with an intense cold wave, Ooty, in the southern part of the country, experiences temperatures below 2.5°C with a relative humidity of 65 percent.
The Nilgiri hilly district traditionally witnesses frost during the winter months, and this year’s delayed onset in late January is attributed to stormy weather conditions.