Special Correspondent

There is a marked change in weather pattern this year

Udhagamandalam: Delayed frost has given a jolt to tea growers in some parts of the district.

Though usually by this time of the year the intensity of the frost would have come down considerably, this year there has been a marked change in the weather pattern.

Heavy rain

Following the heavy rain in November, some parts of the district had experienced wet conditions even in December.

Consequently, it was felt that the winter will not be harsh.

However, contrary to expectations, for the past few days Udhagamandalam and its surroundings have been experiencing moderate to severe frost.

Though it is bright and sunny during the day it gets very chill between dusk and dawn.

It has become a major source of concern in many of the tea gardens in the frost-prone areas. Sources in the Department of Horticulture told The Hindu that the yield in most of the frost-hit tea estates was likely to come down considerably till there was a change in the weather. The small tea growers in the frost-affected areas have been advised to go in for plant protection measures like top shading with ferns and mulching with locally available materials.

Meanwhile the demand for warm clothes has gone up and bonfires at street corners have become a common sight.