As temperature dipped, tourists thronged the hill town of Munnar in Kerala.

Munnar at -2 degrees TNs Ooty at 5 degrees Blanket of frost welcomes tourists
news Weather Wednesday, January 02, 2019 - 19:20

Kerala’s popular hill station Munnar witnessed a thin layer of frost in the town due to the sub-zero temperature in the region. On Wednesday, Munnar recorded a temperature of -2 degree Celsius in Munnar town and -1 degree Celsius in Lakshmi estate area.

"The temperature recorded this morning was -2 degree Celsius in Nallathanni near Munnar town. We hope the temperature will dip more in the coming days," an official from United Planters Association of South India (UPASI), a tea research foundation said. Frost was recorded in various parts of Munnar.

As temperature dipped, tourists continue to throng the hill station since Christmas causing roadblocks in Rajamala, Mattuppetty and Munnar town. Around 3,500 tourists visited the Eravikulam National Park in the last few days. 

Anish P Varghese who runs the Red Sparrows resort in Munnar said, "The cold climate attracts more tourists to the destination. For the last ten days we got a good number of bookings and are still receiving good number of enquiries. Foreigners, north Indians and couples have mainly reached the destination to enjoy the cool climate." He also added that the increase in tourists show that Munnar is recovering from the impact of Kerala floods and Cyclone Gaja. 

Munnar Hotel and Restaurant Association (MHRA) President VV George also agreed that there has been an increase in the influx of tourists to Munnar. Requesting the government to complete the road construction and restore connectivity to the hill station, George added, “The heavy tourist inflow provides a new life to our destination." Small-scale businessmen and hawkers also exuded positivity in the spike in tourists to the town. Saju Joseph, a hawker in Munnar said, “For the last several days we have receiving good business. We hope the trend will continue.”

Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) Dam Safety wing officials said that the Idukki and Cheruthoni dams were opened for public during the Christmas and New Year season and added that the dams will be open to tourists till January 20.  "A lot of tourists including foreigners and north Indians have been visiting the dams in the last few days. The scenic beauty of the dams attracts the tourists", Sreenivasan, a staff deputed at the ticket counter told TNM.

Frosty New Year in Ooty

People in the hilly town of Ooty, Tamil Nadu also woke to up to a chilly morning on Wednesday with a thin blanket of frost surrounding them. The temperature at Ooty as of 8.30 am on Wednesday was 5.1 degree Celsius according to the data provided by the Indian Meteorological Department.

Tamil Nadu saw one of the coldest nights on Tuesday as Northeast Monsoon winds starting to withdraw from the state. The temperatures recorded in various places in the upper half of Tamil Nadu ranged between 17.8 degrees Celsius in Chennai’s Meenambakkam and 4.5 degrees Celsius in Valparai near Coimbatore.

While speaking to reporters on Wednesday at the Regional Meteorological Centre, Chennai, Dr N Puviarasan, the Director of the Centre said that in the coming days, Tamil Nadu will see extensive fog and Nilgiris will have mild frost.

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