After a month-long gap, mercury dropped to sub-zero levels again on Saturday at Munnar’s hill station in Idukki. On Saturday morning, the lowest temperature of the month was recorded at Chenduvarai and Silent Valley at -1 degree Celsius.
According to data from the United Planters Association of South India (UPASI) Tea Research Foundation, temperatures recorded at Letchmi plantation were 0 degrees Celsius on Saturday morning, 0 degrees Celsius at Sevenmalai, 1 degree Celsius at Munnar UPASI, and 3 degrees Celsius at Devikulam R&D. was.
Sources said sub-zero temperatures were recorded again at the hill station for the first time in about a month. The last time the temperature dropped to -2 degrees Celsius was on January 20th.
Hill Station has been experiencing chilly weather for the past three days. The lowest temperature recorded on Thursday was 0 degrees Celsius on the farms of Seven Marai and Letchmi. The lowest temperature at Letchmi Farm on Friday was 0 degrees Celsius. “We expect sub-zero temperatures to continue for the next few days,” the source said.
Climatologist Gopakumar Choleil said hindu Since 2019, Hill Station has been hit by freezing temperatures this year. “After the second week of February, temperatures in Munnar usually show an upward trend. However, continued chilly weather is an unpredictable winter pattern,” he said.
“Continued freezing temperatures in the second week of the month will boost the tourism sector, but it will also have a negative impact on temperature-sensitive crops and plants. It affects other crops,” Cholayil pointed out.
A study by GSLHV Prasada Rao and Gopakumar Cholayil from Kerala Agricultural University, titled “Climate Change and Crop Cultivation Systems in the High Range of Kerala” notes that: Temperature sensitive crops such as coffee, tea, cardamom, cocoa and black pepper grown in the highlands of Kerala.
Unexpected frosts are taking a toll on tea plantations in Munnar. According to Kannan Devan Hills Plantations (KDHP) Company sources, the tea leaves are mostly wilting in various plantations due to frost. “In January and February of this year, as many as 550 hectares of tea plantations were affected. Following 2014, this year frost under KDHP plantations in Munnar killed a large number of tea leaves. If the tea leaves wilt, it will affect next season’s tea production,” the official said.
In February 2019, Munnar experienced a long winter, with mercury dropping to sub-zero levels, according to climate experts. The winter season at Munnar Hill Station usually starts in November, with the first week of January being extremely cold. Frost usually covers the valleys and hills in the first week of January.