Thursday, January 31, 2008

US satellites find cause of winter pollution in north India

New Delhi, Mar 8:
American have found the reason for haze and smog during winter that leads to cancellation of and brings day-to-day life to a standstill in north India.Analysis of data from instruments onboard satellites has shown that ash from coal-fired thermal power plants is the main culprit.The found that aerosols (particulate matter) in the northern plains, especially Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, pollute the air and create haze in the entire Indo-Gangetic basin and not bio-fuel or burning cow-dung as previously thought. About 600 million people live in this basin.The joint Indo-US study was carried out by Professor Ramesh Singh and his Anup Krishna Prasad of the Department of Civil Engineering in IIT Kanpur and Professor Menas Kafatos of the George Mason , US.Their report was today in the online edition of 'Geophysical Research Letter', the prestigious journal of the American Union.Singh's group analysed the MODIS and MISR satellite data and found very high "aerosol optical depth" - a measure of particulate pollution - especially over the coal-burning thermal power plants in the Ganges basin."These power plants use thousands of tons of very low grade coal daily (with 30-45 per cent ash content)," Singh told PTI

North India cold

After a relatively warmer beginning to the New Year, it is back to the typical winter shivers, as large parts of the plains of North and West India reel under a severe cold wave.

In Delhi, going to school or office on Tuesday morning felt worse than usual. It was the coldest in five years.

Adampur near Jalandhar in Punjab was the coldest place in the northern India plains on Monday with the temperature touching minus three degrees Celsius.

Temperatures in nearby Amritsar touched minus one degree and large parts of Haryana also reeled under the cold wave with temperatures between one and five degrees below normal.

Further North, Srinagar is freezing at minus five degrees. And Jammu is virtually paralysed. While the hill states of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal continued to see their regular share of sub-zero temperatures and rain and snow.

The plains from Kolkata to Kutch were also caught in the grip of the cold with temperatures around one degree.

Almost rain

From 24-Jan-08 to till date there's lot of activities for rain.
On 26-Jan it almost rained... and the subsequent day also.
There was no cold whatsoever....
The minimum temperature was around 24.0°C this is very high as the Month is concerned.
Even the high is even higher at 33.3°C... i think this is a record temperatures for the month of January.
Moreover North-India is reeling under a severe cold weather, even the schools are shut till Sunday (3-Feb-08).
Take a look at the temperature forecast for next 7 days... It shows the present temperature is going to rise..

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Is that a rock or a man on Mars?

Elephant killings blamed on Orissa mining

Elephants in Orissa face extinction if they continue to die or be killed at the current rate, according to official and unofficial counts.

Spreading mining activity in the region is blamed for man's conflict with the elephant.

At least 60 elephants have been killed in the past two years, official estimates say - and unofficial reports say 200 elephants died during the same time.

Reports also point out nine elephants died in November.

Iron ore and manganese mining has destroyed the forests where the elephants used to roam freely forcing them into farmers lands.

"It is after all this mining that elephants have started to come here to our fields," said a villager.

The RFO in Keonjhar says, "we are understaffed". "Fifty percent vacancy, there is not enough equipment and roads are bad," he added.

Human casualties

Villagers are also being killed in the man-elephant fight for survival. In the last six years 62 people have died and 75 others were injured.

Over 1500 houses have been destroyed, and 3000 acres of crops damaged, as a result over 4000 families have been affected.

The forest department blames the situation on mining activity in the area.

"We try to do our job but the fact is this increase in mining has really destroyed and disturbed traditional elephant habitats," Suresh Mohanty, the PCCF in Orissa said.

But the minister for mining has denied any responsibility.

"That is not our problem," said Padhmanabhan Behera, the Steel and Mines Minister of Orissa when he was asked about measures taken to deal with the situation.

"That is not our job it is up to the forest department to control any problems with elephants and wildlife," he said.

Chief minister of Orissa Naveen Patnaik has promised to look into the situation, but he is also about to grant two more massive mining contracts in the region, which is likely to mean an even sharper increase in elephant killings.

NDTV website dated 16.11.2006

Tribals against elephant safari zone
January 24 2008

PARVATIPURAM: In protest against the proposed ‘Elephant Safari Zone’ in the forests of Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts, several tribal action groups and welfare associations, led by CPM leaders, staged a dharna at ITDA Office here on Wednesday.

The agitators also gheroed the AP ST Legislative Committee members, who were here to review the ITDA activities, stating that the project would deprive a large number of tribals of their livelihood.

Taking note of the seriousness of the issue, Legislative Committee chairman and S.Kota MLA K Ravi Babu ensured that the government would go ahead with the project only with the people’s consent and added that the Safari zone was proposed to put a lid on the jumbo menace.

For more on saving elephants please visit ""

Temperature rising...!

During the past 5 days... it was not like winter, and that too at the end of January.

Take a look at the temperature chart of past 5 days... it's rising above 31°C.
Month Hi: 31.8°C (25/1/08)
Month Lo: 19.0°C (20/1/08)

Even the humidity is also on the higher side.

Weather art

Weather is all around us all the time. It can affect our mood and how things around us look. Think how different the view from your window can look on a sunny summer's day and on a cloudy wet winter's day.

Make your own weather symbols

Many of you will have seen weather symbols on TV weather forecasts. Try designing some of your own.

Draw a picture

Paint or draw a picture of your school, garden or other interesting view. Colour the picture in to show the scene in different types of weather. Think about how different colours can be used, bright yellow and oranges for sunny, dark greys for cloudy and blue for wet. Also think about how this makes you feel. Does the sun make you happy, do cloud and rain make you sad? This can create an atmosphere to your painting, and change how people feel when they look at your art.

Weather colouring

Below are some weather pictures for you to print out and colour in. Ask an adult to help you to print it out. You can then colour in your picture.

More info at this site...

Weather Clock v3.2 - Download

Weather Forecast without a click!
Get Your Own online Countdown, online Clock, Weather Forecast or online Calendar
Be on time and dress for your weather with this skinnable clock that gives you precise time, alarms to important events, informs about the current weather conditions, and integrates seamlessly into Windows Task Bar.

Weather Alarm Clock replaces the standard Windows system clock and offers a number of enhancements for people who like neat solutions.

Dripping wet ? Caught a cold ? Afraid that you will ?
Dress for Your Weather. A digital thermometer, a weather forecast station, and a dress guide, all in one convenient package. Weather Alarm Clock keeps you updated on the weather at your location, so you always know what to wear. If you go mobile from time to time, Weather Alarm Clock goes mobile with you: just change the location to get the weather for where you are at the moment.

Had enough of being late ? Feel like you are wasting time ? Things are getting out of control ?
Be on Time, Be in Control. The time on your computer will always be precise with Weather Alarm Clock's synch features, but more importantly, you can organize yourself and get things done by setting alarms for certain events, appointments, and tasks. Use the built-in calendar to track appointments or get in synch with your friends and colleagues using the time zones tracking feature.

You can now go to bed without stopping to shut down your computer or you can depend on Weather Alarm Clock to shut down the computer when it's time to go to bed. Customize the look of the clock display and the floating calendar widget using a wide selection of skins.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Arboviral Encephalitides

Arboviral encephalitides are mosquito-transmitted viral diseases capable of causing encephalitis (brain inflammation). Varieties found in the United States include eastern equine encephalitis, western equine encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis and La Crosse (LAC) encephalitis, and West Nile Virus encephalitis. Encephalitis is a very serious disease that can lead to coma, brain damage and death. Eastern equine encephalitis is particularly deadly, with a 30-35% fatality rate, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, cases are rare -- an average of four a year in the U.S., according to the CDC.

Most viral encephalitis infections either don't produce any symptoms at all or only lead to general flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle ache and malaise. Symptoms of severe encephalitis include high fever, stiff neck or back, sensitivity to light, vomiting and confusion.

West Nile Virus

What Is West Nile Virus?
West Nile virus (WNV) is a potentially serious illness. Experts believe WNV is established as a seasonal epidemic in North America that flares up in the summer and continues into the fall. This fact sheet contains important information that can help you recognize and prevent West Nile virus.

What Can I Do to Prevent WNV?
The easiest and best way to avoid WNV is to prevent mosquito bites.

When you are outdoors, use insect repellent containing an EPA-registered active ingredient. Follow the directions on the package.

Many mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn. Be sure to use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants at these times or consider staying indoors during these hours.

Make sure you have good screens on your windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.

Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets and barrels. Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in bird baths weekly. Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out. Keep children's wading pools empty and on their sides when they aren't being used.
What Are the Symptoms of WNV?

Serious Symptoms in a Few People. About one in 150 people infected with WNV will develop severe illness. The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent.
Milder Symptoms in Some People. Up to 20 percent of the people who become infected have symptoms such as fever, headache, and body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. Symptoms can last for as short as a few days, though even healthy people have become sick for several weeks.
No Symptoms in Most People. Approximately 80 percent of people (about 4 out of 5) who are infected with WNV will not show any symptoms at all.
How Does West Nile Virus Spread?

Infected Mosquitoes. Most often, WNV is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds. Infected mosquitoes can then spread WNV to humans and other animals when they bite.

Transfusions, Transplants, and Mother-to-Child. In a very small number of cases, WNV also has been spread through blood transfusions, organ transplants, breastfeeding and even during pregnancy from mother to baby.

Not through touching. WNV is not spread through casual contact such as touching or kissing a person with the virus.
How Soon Do Infected People Get Sick?
People typically develop symptoms between 3 and 14 days after they are bitten by the infected mosquito.

How Is WNV Infection Treated?
There is no specific treatment for WNV infection. In cases with milder symptoms, people experience symptoms such as fever and aches that pass on their own, although even healthy people have become sick for several weeks. In more severe cases, people usually need to go to the hospital where they can receive supportive treatment including intravenous fluids, help with breathing and nursing care.

What Should I Do if I Think I Have WNV?
Milder WNV illness improves on its own, and people do not necessarily need to seek medical attention for this infection though they may choose to do so. If you develop symptoms of severe WNV illness, such as unusually severe headaches or confusion, seek medical attention immediately. Severe WNV illness usually requires hospitalization. Pregnant women and nursing mothers are encouraged to talk to their doctor if they develop symptoms that could be WNV.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Slightly warm day

Today it was slightly warm, because the Humidity was high around 80%
During the past 5 days the humidity is rising... take a look

But the min & max temperature was almost the same.
We might get a shower towards the end of this month.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Climatological Information for Chennai

Climatological Information
Month-Mean Temperature oC-Mean Total Rainfall (mm)-Mean Number of Rain Days-
Daily Minimum-Daily Maximum
Jan - 20.6 28.4 16.2 1.0
Feb - 21.2 29.9 3.7 0.3
Mar - 23.1 31.9 3.0 0.2
Apr - 25.9 33.6 13.6 0.7
May - 27.6 36.4 48.9 1.6
Jun - 27.2 36.6 53.7 4.1
Jul - 25.9 34.7 97.8 7.3
Aug - 25.3 33.9 149.7 8.5
Sep - 25.3 33.5 109.1 6.6
Oct - 24.3 31.4 282.7 10.2
Nov - 22.8 29.2 350.3 10.1
Dec - 21.6 28.1 138.2 5.5

Next 2 days for India

Forecast valid upto 1430 hrs IST of 22nd January, 2008


· Rain/snowfall is likely at a few places over Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand during next 24 hours and isolated thereafter.

· Isolated rain/thundershowers are also likely over Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh during next 24 hours and mainly dry weather thereafter.

· Fall in minimum temperature by 2-3°C during next 48 hrs.


· Isolated rain/thundershowers are likely over Sub-Himalayan West Bengal & Sikkim during next 24 hours and mainly dry weather thereafter.

· Mainly dry weather is likely over the rest region.

· Fall in minimum temperature by 3-5°C over East Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand during next 48 hrs.


[Arunachal Pradesh, NMM& T, Assam, Meghalaya,]
· Rain/thundershowers are likely at a few places over Arunachal Pradesh and isolated over Assam and Meghalaya.

· Mainly dry weather is likely over the rest region.


· Mainly dry weather is likely over the region.


· Mainly dry weather is likely over the region.

· Fall in minimum temperatures by 2-4°C over Rajasthan .


· Mainly dry weather is likely over the region.

· Fall in minimum temperature by 3-4°C over Madhya Pradesh during next 48 hrs

Friday, January 18, 2008

Heavy snow in China

This week has seen a blast of winter arrive across China, bringing freezing temperatures and heavy snow falls. An unusually large swathe of the country has been affected by the cold weather. Over the last two days especially, heavy snow has brought chaos across the southern provinces of Hubei, Hunan and Jiangxi.

For Hubei, the first snowflakes began to fall over a week ago, with it now experiencing its heaviest snowfall in 16years. Plummeting temperatures have frozen pipes cutting off the water supply to many residents so that fire engines had to be used to carry in fresh supplies.

In Hunan too it is their heaviest snowfall in more than 5 years and has resulted in treacherous conditions across many of the province’s roads. Some 120,000 cars are said to have become stranded in Hunan for days, with almost half a million passengers having to wait until Thursday to be rescued. The government has resorted to using several hundred tons of industrial salt in order to keep the roads open. Air travel was also affected with the freezing temperatures delaying or cancelling flights.

There were also similar problems in the province of Jiangxi as thousands of cars became stranded when a bridge across China’s Yangtze River had to be closed.

The capital did not escape either with snow blanketing Beijing on Thursday. The National Meteorological Centre of China is forecasting the winter blast to continue over the next few days, with further snow falls expected to affect many parts.

Winter & dry

No significant changes in weather...for chennai.
The temperature is pretty much the same for the past 20 days...
Max around 29°C and Minimum around 21°C.

But take a look at the humidty for past 5 days... it shows a dramatic dip in low and high... this might trigger a even colder days and night.
May be towards the end of this month the min temperature will go down to 19°C.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

World warming despite cool Pacific and Baghdad snow

OSLO (Reuters) - Climate change is still nudging up temperatures in the long term even though the warmest year was back in 1998 and 2008 has begun with unusual weather such as a cool Pacific and Baghdad's first snow in memory, experts said.

"Global warming has not stopped," said Amir Delju, senior scientific coordinator of the World Meteorological Organization's (WMO) climate program.

Last year was among the six warmest years since records began in the 1850s and the British Met Office said last week that 2008 will be the coolest year since 2000, partly because of a La Nina event that cuts water temperatures in the Pacific.

"We are in a minor La Nina period which shows a little cooling in the Pacific Ocean," Delju told Reuters. "The decade from 1998 to 2007 is the warmest on record and the whole trend is still continuing."

This year has started with odd weather including the first snows in Baghdad in memory on Friday and a New Year cold snap in India that killed more than 20 people. Frost hit some areas of Florida last week but orange groves escaped mostly unscathed.

Iraqis welcomed snow as an omen of peace. "It's the first time we've seen snow in Baghdad," said 60-year-old Hassan Zahar. "I looked at the faces of all the people, they were astonished."

Last year, parts of the northern hemisphere were having a record mild winter with even Alpine ski resorts starved of snow.

Delju said climate change, blamed mainly on human emissions of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels, would bring bigger swings in the weather alongside a warming trend that will mean more heatwaves, droughts, floods and rising seas

Baghdad Snow

Winter Bites in SW Asia

Bitter cold, snow (be it unusually heavy or merely to have happened at all) and wetting rain have all marked the stormy winter weather that has dominated the first half of January from central Asia to the Red Sea. Tales of immobilizing snow and harsh cold in Iran as well as rare snow from Baghdad to Arar, northern KSA, have found their way onto the world`s newswires, as has the flash flooding that swept Makkah, KSA.
A thinning out of snow late last week raised bitter cold to fore as the prominent weather aspect Monday. Here are a few highlights:

Turkey: Erzurum...-25 F/-31.8 C; Kars...-26 F/-32.2 C
Iran: Quchan...-7 f/-21.4 C; Tehran...16 F/-9 C
Kazakhstan: Atbasar...-37 F/-38.1 C
Uzbekistan: Buzaubay...-23 F/-30.3 C
Turkmenistan: Ekezhe...-20 F/-28.8 C; Turkmenbashy...-5 f/-20.6
Iraq: Baghdad...28-30 F/-2 to -1 C; Basrah...30 F/-1 C
KSA: Guriat...20 F/-6.8 C (Turayf also -20 F)
Jordan: Ma`an...17 F/-8.4 C

Rainfall was nearly 2 inches (about 4 cms) on the island of Abu Musa, between Iran and UAE

Happy pongal 2008

Lasting for over four days Pongal, a harvest festival is celebrated in the month of Shravan. Pongal literally means, "boiling over". The Tamil harvest festival is celebrated with decorated cows, processions and decorative Rangoli. Pongal is a sweet porridge made from newly harvested rice and eaten by all, even the animals. Each day of this festival has a special significance, however, it is celebrated more grandly in the villages, while the city folk mainly celebrate on the second day only. It is widely celebrated in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

The festival is celebrated for four days. On, the first day, Bhogi, the old clothes and materials are thrown away and fired, marking the beginning of a new life. The second day, the Pongal day, is celebrated by boiling fresh milk early in the morning and allowing it to boil over the vessel - a tradition that is the literal translation for Pongal (in Tamil). People also prepare savories and sweets, visit each other's homes, and exchange greetings.

The third day, Mattu Pongal, is meant to offer thanks to the cows and buffaloes, as they are used to plough the lands. Jallikattu, a violent taming the bull contest, marks this day. On the last day, Kanum Pongal, people go out to picnic. During the Pongal season, people eat sugar canes and decorate the houses with Kolam.

Even though Pongal was originally a festival for the farming community, today it is celebrated by all. Coinciding with Makara Sankranti and Lohri of the north, it is also called Pongal Sankranti and thus celebrated in some form in various parts of India.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Heavy Snow Kills Dozens in Asia

Iranian Red Crescent aid workers help motorists stuck in snow on the Zanjan-Qazvin highway northwest of Tehran, Iran, January 8, 2008.

An Afghan walks through snow in the capital city of Kabol (Kabul) on January 5, 2008. At least 34 people have died due to heavy snowfall in the strife-prone country, according to the news agency AFP.

People walk through the snow in northern Istanbul, Turkey, on January 7, 2008.
The capital city of Ankara was beset by snow-caused traffic jams and accidents, according to the Associated Press

China Bans Free Plastic Bags

Declaring war on the "white pollution" choking its cities, farms, and waterways, China is banning free plastic shopping bags and calling for a return to the cloth bags of old—steps largely welcomed by merchants and shoppers on Wednesday.

The measure eliminates the flimsiest bags and forces stores to charge for others, making China the latest nation to target plastic bags in a bid to cut waste and conserve resources.

The ban takes effect June 1, barely two months before Beijing hosts the Summer Olympic Games, ahead of which it has been demolishing run-down neighborhoods and working to clear smog.

The games have added impetus to a number of policies and projects, likely boosting odds for the bag ban's implementation.

Under the new rules, businesses will be prohibited from manufacturing, selling, or using bags less than 0.025 millimeters (0.00098 inches) thick, according to the order issued by the State Council, China's Cabinet.

The council's orders constitute the highest level of administrative regulation and follow-through is carefully monitored.

More durable plastic bags still will be permitted for sale by markets and shops.

The regulation, dated December 31 and posted on a government Web site Tuesday, called for "a return to cloth bags and shopping baskets to reduce the use of plastic bags."

It also urged waste collectors to step up recycling efforts to reduce the amount of bags burned or buried. Finance authorities were told to consider tax measures to discourage plastic bag production and sale.

No significant change

For the past 10 days there's no significant change to temperatures.
Minimum is around 21 degrees and maximum around 29 degrees.
This is going to be the weather till 20-Jan-2007, after that the minimum temperature will go down a bit and the humidity will also go down.
Take a look at the past 5 day humidity chart... it shows sudden rise in humidity during the past 3 days, otherwise it's DRY.

Take a look at the latest satellite pic...
It suggests some showers OR drizzles might creep into south-south-tamilnadu during this weekend.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Automatic weather station

An automatic weather station, which could predict weather changes, has been installed at the TVS Agriculture Sciences Research Institute, about 120 km from Madurai.

The station, built at a cost of Rs 5 lakh, is capable of predicting 23 parameters of weather changes, an official of the institute said on January 2.

The station, run by solar power, would collect data every 10 minutes. It would include wind direction, solar radiation, air temperature, humidity, soil temperature and rainfall registered at the station, which would be sent to ICRISAT.

At first, the report would help farmers of Nanguneri taluk and Radhapuram, as it could forecast weather for a 6 km radius.

The service would be available to farmers in the two taluks shortly. It would be extended to the entire Tirunelveli, Kanyakumari and Thoothukudi districts later, the offiical said. (Agencies)

Oregon scientific - Weather Hub

A stylish and versatile weather product. Simple to use and easy to set up, the Weather Hub is an ideal weather accessory to any home, office or dorm. At a quick glance, know the indoor temperature and what the 12 to 24-hour weather forecasts will be. Besides the traditional desktop display and wall mount options, a magnet mount has been included for additional set-up convenience on metallic surfaces.

Displays 12 to 24-hour weather forecasts with graphical icons (Sunny, Partially Cloudy, Cloudy, Rainy)


Displays indoor temperature in C° / F ° (user selectable)
Temperature measuring range: 23°F to +122°F (-5°C to +50°C)
Temperature resolution: 0.2°F (0.1°C)


Desk top display, wall, and magnet mount options
Low battery indicator

Winter storm sweeping northern tip of South-Asia

Here are some numbers. But first, the town is Kushka (also spelled Gushgy), which is set in Turkmenistan near the three-way border with Iran and Afghanistan. The big winter storm and cold has left a mark: 19 inches (one-half meter) of snow having water equivalent of 1.7 inches, or 43 mm. For Monday and Tuesday, respective highs of 9 and 11 degrees F (-11.5 and -12.6 degrees C); between them, a low of -8 degrees F (-22.1 degrees C). Normal January daily range is 52 F/11 C to 29 F/-2 C. Normal water equivalent of 1.1 inches (28 mm). Lowest temperature on record is -15 degrees F, or -26 deg C. This storm has, indeed, left its mark.

Elsewhere, I found -20 degrees F (-29 C) at Buzaubay, Uzbekistan; -16 F (-26.8 C) at Yerbent, Turkmenistan; -18 F (-27.6 C) at the notoriously cold Erzurum, Turkey; and at least 16 degrees below zero F (-27 C) at Shahr-e Kord (Zagros Mountains), Iran.

Chennai's lowest temperature

The lowest temperature in chennai in the past 10 years was 62 degrees Fahrenheit i.e. about 16.7 degrees Centigrade. This was recorded on 27th January 1999.

The link I have provided in the source will give you the recorded temperature by days for any day/month or week and you can review the temperatures over December, January and February months over the last 10 years and figure out the coldest days in Chennai.

In addition, in the last 10 years, 64 deg F was recorded on the following days: (with the Max temp in parenthesis)

30 Jan 1999 - 64 (89)
31 Jan 1999 - 64 (87)
20 Feb 2004- 64 (87)
14 Feb 2005- 64 (94)
19 Jan 2006 - 64 (87)
15 Feb 2006- 64 (90)

In addition, you will find that there was this recorded temperature of 41 deg F on Dec 19, 1999 (at 10 am) and also 37.4 deg F on 4 Feb 2004 (at 2 am). Interestingly, within an hour of these records, the temperature was above 70 deg F. Therefore, it is very likely that these were human errors while creating the webpage. I believe the above to be true based on the following, which records that in the NOrth, you do not get temp below 10.2 since 70's!

Elsewhere, you find the following, which is authentic record from weather related sites about Tamil Nadu, and yuo can infer from this, some truth about Chennai (madras):

In Tamil Nadu January is the coldest month when the daily minimum temperature for the state as a whole is 21C varing from about 16C in the north to about 24C in the south. The lowest temperature ever recorded at an individual station in the plain is 10.2C. at Tirupattur on 15th December 1974 which is 5.9C lower than the normal of the coldest month. In the ghat areas Uthagamandalam registered the lowest minimum temperature of -2.1C on 7th January 1976 which is 7.3C lower than the normal of the coldest month.

Finally, some sites state the lowest temp recorded in Chennai as being 15.8, which although authentic (mentioned in many sites and books about Chennai), but possibly not in the last ten years as the temp never went below 62 deg F in the last 10 years (but for those two dates, which i believe are human errors in recording in the internet page!).

btw, 15.8 deg C means 60.44 deg Fahrenheit - almost 1.56 degree F lower than the recorded 62 in the last 10 years

Snow in IRAQ !!!

It may actually not be so rare, at least in this higher west of Iraq. But it did snow Wednesday night into Thursday at a military base along the highway to Jordan. A little snow was also observed in KSA at Badanah and Arar, and in Syria at Hamah and Tadmur. It could be that the area of at least light snow spread widely between these rather far-flung sites which, on the atlas at my fingertips, lie mostly within an area labeled `Syrian Desert`. I believe this is at least roughly equivalent to `Ash Shams`.

Almost constant low temperature

Almost Every day for the past week or so... the low temperature recorded was around 21.1 to 21.8

Going by the latest INFRARED pic... now only u can see clear south & south-east asia.
This is a sign that the North-East current has subsided. So that's it for the 2007-08 season.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Winter ware

Activities for winter

1. Go to Besant nagar beach on a weeknight. Make it really late. Keep any kind of identification with you should the cops decide that you look "suspicious". Walk on the sand. It's really good.
2. Go for a midnight snack. You will be surprised how many teashops and restaurants are open late. Keep you car at home and take a two-wheeler. Enjoy the cold wind on your face
3. Go to the Marina and eat fish. I know that's available all year long, but it tastes better in winter. Trust me.

Cloudy mornings

Chennai is going thru a mild winter.
The low temperature during January is usually around 20°C and sometimes it goes down to 19 or 18°C, but nowadays it rarely crosses the 21°C.
Chennai wakes up to a cloudy mornings... this is because still there is some weak North-East activity. The could formations during 8 AM to 12 PM is a sign of that.
No significant changes are expected for next 2 days.
After pongal (Jan-15) the temperature might go down upto 19°C.

Monday, January 07, 2008

StrikeAlert Personal Lightning Detector

only $69 each or 2 for $135.00
The world's first convenient, dependable and easy-to-use personal lightning detector. Detects lightning in ranges as close as 6 miles or as far as 40 miles away.

StrikeAlert is a small (about the size of a pager) and affordable lightning detector that provides an early warning of approaching lightning strikes from as far away as 40 miles and lets you know if the storm is coming your way. Its designed for personal and portable use.

An audible alarm sounds when there's a strike and a corresponding LED light illuminates accordingly at lightning distances of 20-40 miles, 12-24 miles, 6-12 miles and within 6 miles.
The detector is housed in a small pager-like casing that can be clipped on a belt loop and runs on two AAA battery up to 100 hours. It's perfect for outdoor sporting events and activities.

Who uses it? Television Live Van News Crews
Electric, Cable TV, and Telephone Utility crews
Coaches in charge of sporting events
Golf courses and golfers
Hikers, campers, boaters
Forest Fire crews and smokejumpers
School administrators

North India shivers, south offers linen

As a cold wave sweeps through northern India, faraway in the south a few villages are working overtime to supply thick linen that promises warmth and comfort.
With January temperatures touching one degree Celsius in some northern and central Indian states and dipping below the freezing point in the Himalayan fringe, the demand for cosy, low-cost, jacquard-designed bed sheets made by weavers of Erode in western Tamil Nadu has hit a new high.
This winter, buyers came from Raipur in Chhattisgarh and Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh, where the cold wave has claimed scores of lives, besides Delhi, Ahmedabad and Bhopal.

They travelled over 1,000 km all the way down to this south Indian town to buy woven bed linen for two reasons. "These bed sheets are cheap, good and very thick. I have been buying them for several years now," says Anand Sharma, a trader from Delhi.

A double-spread bed sheet weighing 1,100 grams costs just about Rs. 250. The lesser the weight, the lower the price. A 300 gm sheet in Dobby design would cost around Rs.90 apiece.

Weavers rue that they get only 20 per cent of the prevailing market price. "The prices range between Rs. 20 and Rs. 50 for a bed sheet," says 60-year-old K. Kuppusamy, who has been weaving bed sheets for the past 30 years at Chennimalai, one of the key weaving clusters in Erode district.

In Chennimalai alone, there are about 1,700 power looms with 5,100 weavers, weaving over 17,000 sheets worth at least Rs. 2.5 million.

Besides, the 7,000 handloom weavers produce at least 15,000 sheets daily.

Each power loom produces about 10 jacquard bed sheets or 20 ordinary Dobby-designed bed sheets every day and the handloom weavers just about manage two sheets daily.

Even the state-owned Erotex, a marketing unit of the weavers' cooperatives in Erode, which sold bed sheets worth over Rs. 35 million last winter, has run out of stock this year.

"There has been a steep increase in the demand for our bed sheets," says Erotex Manager, Shanmugham.

Indeed, Erode bed sheets have a long history spanning more than 250 years, when the traditional Tamil weaving community of Mudaliars created weavers' villages at Chennimalai, Vellakoil and Nathakadaiyur, besides in the neighbouring district of Karur.

The weavers began to specialise in what they initially called the 'aettu'. As Erode bed sheets caught the attention of north Indians, 'aettu' became 'dupatta' and now it is the Westernised 'jacquard sheet'.

Dobby and jacquard designs usually have a single-coloured background with stripes and "raised corded waffles" as the surface highlights. Some of them even have a metallic lustre.

However, weavers claim that the future of Erode bed sheets, despite its growing demand, is not bright and the jacquard may lose its sheen. The reason? "Rising yarn prices - from Rs. 280 per 5 kg, it has grown to Rs. 300 now. It will not allow us to retain the pricing edge.

"Besides, the weavers are also demanding a steep increase in wages from the present 20 percent of the selling price. This year, they went on a month-long strike affecting our production badly," says Chennimlai Handloom and Powerloom Manufacturers Association president V.N.Swaminathan.

But, as of now, most looms in Erode are frenetically working day and night, making bed sheets to beat the plummeting mercury in up north. (IANS)

A usual winter day

A normal dry wintery day for Chennai.
Today's low temp was 23.0°C @ 5:14am
In recent days the humidity has gone down and going down...
take a look at this.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

A mild day

A mild day after all unusual rains yesterday.
Today humidity dropped low 48% @ 2:52pm, and yesterday it was 93% at the same time.
Good news is the monthly rainfall average stands well above the normal
50.2mm (Jan. normal - 16 mm)
This somewhat compensates the low rainfall during Nov-2007.

Yesterdays sudden rain activity was far spread across the most parts of Northern-Tamilnadu and south AndhraPradesh.
Some rainfall statistics from yesterday.
Cuddalore 15, Sirkali (Nagapattinam dt) 11, Chidambaram (Cuddalore dt) 9, Panruti (Cuddalore dt), Parangipettai and Cholavaram (Thiruvallur dt) 8 each, Ponneri and Thamaraipakkam (both Thiruvallur dt), Puducherry Airport, Tada (Nellore dt) and Puttur (Chittoor dt) 7 each.

Going by the satellite pic, the equator region near the Indonesian islands are very active, this will not be the case during this time of year.
Present (7:24PM) temperature is 25.9°C

Friday, January 04, 2008

Unusual day!

Unusual day!
Monsoon again!...ha ha
First take a look at the latest satellite pic....

Going by the pic there is nothing visual.
From yesterday(3-Jan-08) night 9:30Pm onwards it's raining , raining again and again with cloudy intervals.
Today(4-Jan-08) morning, afternoon and then in evening...
It's exactly like North-east monsoon. Showers coming from North-east and sometimes from east too.
This kind of activity during January is very unusual.
I dont think this activity will prevail... for long, may be upto morning of 5-Jan-08.
Today's records...
Temperature high 25.1° (1:04pm)
Humidity now 92%
Rainfall....43.6 MM

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Digital Compass Watch with Altimeter XG-55

The Digital Compass Watch with Altimeter provides the essential information while you hike, camp, bike and perform other outside activities: especially for extended periods of time.
The Digital Compass Watch with Altimeter features electronic sensors which monitor the outdoor conditions (e.g. weather forecast, temperature, barometer, altitude, and compass directions)
The Digital Compass Watch with Altimeter also includes regular time, dual time, daily alarm, chronograph, and a timer in a sleek water resistant case.

for more on this product and to buy click here

Cold winter afternoon

We are back for blogging!
Today morning it was cold as usual, 21.0°C @ 6:31am.
Around 10 AM it was sunny and suddenly it became cloudy and temperature started falling, now it's 27.3°C @ 3:07PM and it's falling at the rate of -0.16°C/hr.
Moreover the humidity during the past 5 days is also low.
Chennai might receive some drizzles during the coming weekend, so expect an cold, windy and slightly wet weekend.

Happy 2008

Happy 2008 to all our readers.