Boys warm themselves with bonfire in the cold night at Miyapur. (K Durga Rao/DC)
HYDERABAD: The minimum temperature here officially touched the single-digit mark on Monday: Rajendranagar recorded 7.8º Celsius, followed by Secunderabad at 8.9 and Alwal at 9.2ºC.
The unusual chill in the last week has triggered an orange alert. Experts said that the unlikely cold in the city’s southern region needed to be understood from the aspect of climatic and weather conditions.
Mahesh Palawat, vice-president of meteorology and climate change, Skymet, told Deccan Chronicle: "Icy-cold winds are travelling from the north straight to Tamil Nadu because of which the temperature has dropped over the southern peninsula."
He said that earlier there used to be some kind of obstruction over central parts like Vidarbha, Marathwada, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh to the flow of the cold winds. "This time we do not have any such weather system. Owing to this, temperatures are decreasing in Telangana."
Palawat pointed out that single digit temperatures will persist for another 48 hours in many parts of Telangana after which temperature will gradually increase. However, again, after January 15, the temperature will start dropping to single digits for about a week as the northerly winds will set up once again.
Experts said that it was important to consider environmental factors contributing to the changing weather conditions.
"Right now the weather is in the ‘lapse rate’ where the season changes from one phase to another, because of which the weather has become extreme. At the same time there are other environmental factors that we need to look at," said assistant professor at the department of environmental sciences in Osmania University, Syeda Zaeem Unnisa.
She pointed to the destruction of small rocky hillocks as well as natural forests surrounding the city, which used to obstruct cold winds.
"Apart from the natural phenomena, the human-made changes are also contributing to the conditions. It is very important to identify the factors responsible for such extreme weather conditions failing which such extremities will become a regular occurrence in the days ahead," Zaeem Unnisa added.