Maharashtra: Nashik shivers at 3 degree Celsius; grape growers light bonfires

Mumbai / Nashik: The minimum temperature dipped to 3°C in Nashik, forcing grape growers to set up bonfires to save the crop from damage, officials said on Sunday. Two bodies of beggars were also found on the city’s Godavari bank on Saturday evening, with police suspecting they died of severe cold, an official at Panchavati police station said. The unidentified bodies were sent to the Civil Hospital for post mortem, he said. A minimum temperature of 3°C was recorded in Niphad tehsil, the agricultural belt famous for grape production, at 7am on Saturday, a weatherman said.

Frozen dew drops on sugarcane, wheat and grapevines prompted the tillers to light bonfires to save the crops, an official at the district collectorate said. As day temperatures also remained low and cold conditions persisted, the citizens were seen lighting bonfires to keep themselves warm. Cold conditions are likely to continue in the district for next two to three days, the MeT added.

Meanwhile, Mumbai experienced its third coldest day of the month with the Santacruz observatory recording a minimum temperature of 12.4°C on Sunday. The minimum fell by 5.8°C below normal, while the maximum was increased to 30°C from Saturday’s 24.2°C.

As per the Indian Meteorological Dept (IMD), northerly winds from Jammu and Kashmir via Rajasthan and Gujarat are responsible for the cold wave like conditions in Maharashtra. Since Wednesday, the city has been witnessing cold wave due to northerly winds and a sharp fluctuation in day temperature.

“The lower level northerly to north-westerly winds due to the western disturbance and weather systems over northwest parts of the country continue to keep temperatures 6-7°C below normal. Similar conditions are expected till Monday,” said KS Hosalikar, dy director-general, western region, IMD.

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