The city has been experiencing a sudden nip in the air, as there has been a sharp decline in temperature, especially during night, in the last couple of days.
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD) records, on January 15 the lowest temperature recorded in Visakhapatnam (airport) was 15° Celsius with a deviation of -3.4° C from normal temperature. On the same day, Waltair recorded a low of 19.4° C with a deviation of -1.3° C from normal.
On January 16, airport region recorded the lowest of 18° C and Waltair 21.9° C. The temperature on January 15 is said to be the lowest this season. Similar weather conditions are likely to prevail for some more days, officials say.
Residents in several areas like Madhurawada, Bheemili, Sagar Nagar, Visalakshi Nagar, MVP Colony, Simhachalam and Adavivaram are experiencing cold wave conditions at night, with temperature dipping two to three degrees below Waltair. Thick fog could be seen at many places in the city. In many areas, especially in the rural parts and coastal stretches, people are lighting campfires to keep themselves warm. Sweater and blanket vendors are doing brisk business.
“We have been experiencing cold winds after 6 p.m for about a week now. We are lighting a campfire near our shop to escape the chill. Most of the shops are being closed by 8.30 p.m,” said Ganga Rao, a fruit vendor from Hanumanthuwaka.
A Raju, an RTC bus driver, said that driving had now become tough due to thick fog on the city outskirts. “The ongoing road works add to the visibility problem between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m.,” he added.
Confined to homes
Agency areas too have been witnessing a sudden decline in temperatures since the last week, disrupting public life. Elderly persons and children are the worst hit due to the cold winds.
According to the Regional Agricultural Research Station (RARS), Chintapalle, on January 16, the lowest temperature recorded was 7° C and on Friday, the minimum temperature observed was 8° C.
“Seven degrees Celsius was the lowest this season in the agency. On November 16, 7.5° C was recorded,” said an official.
Lambasingi, Paderu, Araku, Ananthagiri and Dumbriguda have been experiencing cold weather conditions.
“We are able to witness proper sunlight only after 9 a.m. From 3 p.m., one can feel the cold winds. During the early hours, the weather is so cold that we are unable to come out of houses. These days, campfire is a must every morning,” said Durru Upendra, a resident of Paderu.
According to V. Raju, an auto-rickshaw driver from Chintapalle, driving has become very tough due to severe fog on the ghat roads.