From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Cloudburst
Mains level : Flash floods
Recently, cloudbursts have been reported from several places in J&K, Ladakh, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. A
What is a Cloudburst?
- Cloudbursts are short-duration, intense rainfall events over a small area.
- According to the IMD, it is a weather phenomenon with unexpected precipitation exceeding 100mm/h over a geographical region of approximately 20-30 square km.
What causes Cloudburst?
- A study published last year studied the meteorological factors behind the cloudburst over the Kedarnath region.
- They analyzed atmospheric pressure, temperature, rainfall, cloud water content, cloud fraction, cloud particle radius, cloud mixing ratio, total cloud cover, wind speed, wind direction, and relative humidity during the cloudburst, before as well as after the cloudburst.
- The results showed that during the cloudburst, the relative humidity and cloud cover was at the maximum level with low temperature and slow winds.
- It is expected that because of this situation a high amount of clouds may get condensed at a very rapid rate and result in a cloudburst.
Impact of climate change
- Several studies have shown that climate change will increase the frequency and intensity of cloudbursts in many cities across the globe.
- As temperatures increase the atmosphere can hold more and more moisture and this moisture comes down as a short very intense rainfall for a short duration.
- This results in flash floods in the mountainous areas and urban floods in the cities.
- Also, there is evidence suggesting that globally short duration rainfall extremes are going to become more intense and frequent.
Answer this PYQ in the comment box:
Q.During a thunderstorm, the thunder in the skies is produced by the:
- meeting of cumulonimbus clouds in the sky
- lightning that separates the nimbus clouds
- violent upward movement of air and water particles
Select the correct option using the codes given below:
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) None of the above