CHENNAI: Come Tuesday, the metro will wake up to the first day of the dreaded ‘Agni Natchathram’, 25 days of soaring temperatures where the city traditionally hunkers down and braves the heat. If any Chennaiite hopes to draw succour from the sub-35 degree maximum of the preceding day, beware. The Meteorological Department has warned that the city will start witnessing temperatures close to or in excess of 40 degrees in a few days.
According to Deputy Director General of Meteorology S B Thampi, the phenomenon of Agni Nathchathram is only an astrological one. “It has no bearing on the temperatures that we witness. However, the next few weeks are traditionally that which witness peak summer temperatures. All through May and June will see high temperatures,” he said.
The DDG went on to warn of temperatures close to 40 degrees. “It will not be surprising if the city experiences temperatures in the low forties. People have to be ready to take necessary precautions, like wearing cotton clothing, staying hydrated and avoiding travelling on two wheelers during the late morning and afternoon,” he added.
Denizens of the city are already getting ready to brave the heat, with several people that Express spoke to saying that they were planning to avoid travelling at peak temperature times in the next 25 days.
Others have stocked up on supplies of ‘cooling’ fruits like watermelons and musk melons to take along on their workdays.
“I have already stocked up on watermelons and other fruits. I have rented an AC for the next few months and plan to stay at home even during the weekends,” said John Nithanam, a student in Chennai.