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A flood of mangoes as mercury shoots up

K. Lakshmi

City may experience hotter days when storms disrupt sea breeze



PROTECTION: Umbrellas are out, mostly to protect people from heat, and sometimes from the occasional drizzle of summer. — Photo: K. Pichumani

CHENNAI: Thesummer is already upon us and residents are already feeling the heat. The city is experiencing day temperatures of 35 degrees Celsius and more, which is termed normal by the Meteorological department. Both Nungambakkam and Meenambakkam recorded over 35 degrees Celsius on Thursday. Last year, the temperature touched 39.3 degrees Celsius during May.

``It is impossible to predict weather in the long term. The daily temperature depends on the onset of sea breeze. Usually, it sets in before noon,'' said S.R. Ramanan, director of Area Cyclone Warning Centre of Meteorological department.

The city may experience hotter days when the storms disrupt sea breeze and delay the onset. This results in the temperature soaring above normal. Normally, the first fortnight of May would have a temperature of 35 degrees Celsius, which would rise to 36 degrees Celsius, Mr. Ramanan said.

Pollution and loss of vegetation cover in an area may also have an impact on the weather, he added.

Though it is considered normal, people are beginning to feel the scorching heat. While cool destinations have found their way into the itinerary of many residents, motorists cooling off under the smallest shade available on city roads have become a common feature.

The onset of summer also calls for precautions to protect against the sun.

Last year, about 30 cases of heat stroke were registered at the Government General Hospitalin May. A considerable amount of patients with skin infections and sun burns were also treated, say doctors at the General Hospital's casualty wing.

The season has paved the way for a thriving business for those who sell tender coconuts and palm fruits. S. Manickam, a tender coconut vendor at K.K. Nagar says the sale goes up to 100 tender coconuts a day. The coconuts come from Pollachi and Pondicherry and are sold at prices ranging from Rs. 8 to Rs 15. .

More mangoes are on the way at lower prices this season. Srinivasan, president of Chennai Koyambedu Market Fruits Vendors Association said that the market received 30 lorry loads of Banganapalli mangoes from Andhra Pradesh. One kilo of the variety costs between Rs. 7 and Rs. 12 at the wholesale market.

Other varieties that have hit the market from the neighbouring State are Alphonso and Himam Pasand. The local varieties, which have decreased this year, are expected to arrive in June.

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