Freezing Conditions Hit Burmese Farmers

By KO HTWE Tuesday, January 4, 2011 | The Irrawaddy

The freezing conditions that fell upon high-altitude areas of Western, Eastern and Northern Burma last week have continued into the new year with Hakha and Mindat townships in Chin State, and Loilem and Pinlaung townships in southern Shan State experiencing below-zero temperatures throughout the night.

Burma's state-run media on Monday reported that Pinlaung, Namhsan and Loilem townships in southern Shan State were enduring temperatures of between 1 ˚C and 4 ˚C while Hakha in Chin State was experiencing a temperature of 2 ˚C.

Speaking to The Irrawaddy on Tuesday, War Nu from Taunggyi Township in Shan State said that although the daytime temperature is fine—quite sunny, in fact—the temperatures at night had been falling to below freezing since the last week of December.

“I think the temperature in Loilem Township is colder than the state-run media reported,” she said. “The water I left overnight in my basin was frozen by morning [in Loilem]. The temperature in Taunggyi is also desperately low.”

Traditionally, the mountainous areas of Pinlaung, Loilem and Kalaw are the coldest areas in Shan State throughout the winter.

The rise and fall of the temperature in the region is dependent on the movement and the orientation of winds from the China High Area, according to Tun Lwin, a retired director-general of the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology in Rangoon, writing on his website.

He predicted that the cold front will affect the region another four times between January and March, and that the harvest of crops will be affected by the cold mists.

Warm daytime temperatures are also reported in Chin State while nighttime temperatures drop below zero.

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