Natural Disasters

Stormy Sunday: Yet another western disturbance wreaks havoc, kills at least 71

This year, western disturbances are drawing attention of weather experts because of their severity and spread

By DTE Staff
Last Updated: Monday 14 May 2018 | 12:54:01 PM
Thunderstorms accompanied with squall hit Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi-NCR. Credit: Pexels
Thunderstorms accompanied with squall hit Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi-NCR. Credit: Pexels Thunderstorms accompanied with squall hit Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi-NCR. Credit: Pexels

Little over a week after western disturbance whipped up violent storms in western Uttar Pradesh and eastern Rajasthan, northern India faced yet another western disturbance with wind speed reaching 109 km/h in some paces of the national capital. At least 65 people were killed as thunderstorms accompanied with squall hit Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi-NCR.

While five people died due to lightning and thunderstorm in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh, at least four died and 26 were injured in Delhi-NCR. However, Uttar Pradesh has been the worst hit, once again, with 48 people killed and 25 injured due to lightning and thunderstorm in various districts of the state. Thirty-seven houses were damaged and nine animals were killed.

According to IMD’s latest prediction, thunderstorm accompanied with squall (wind speed reaching 50­-70 km/h) very likely at isolated places over  Jammu &Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, East Bihar, West Bengal, Sikkim and Odisha.

Western disturbance, which is not unusual during pre-monsoon days, happens when the cold and moisture-laden winds from the Mediterranean fill up the low pressure area created in north and northwestern India due to high temperatures.

This year, western disturbances stand out because of their severity and spread. Weather scientists have attributed this to “a series of storms originating in the Mediterranean area and blending with local heat-induced storms”.

On April 26, Delhi had recorded the season's hottest day with the mercury touching 42 degree Celsius. In fact, heat wave like conditions started prevailing in large parts of the country, including Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Andhra Pradesh, from the second week of April—much earlier than the usual onset of heat waves. This heating-up trend is frequently creating an area of lower pressure, favourable for such storms to develop.

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IEP Resources:

Isotope fingerprinting of precipitation associated with western disturbances and Indian summer monsoons across the Himalayas

Movements of western disturbance and associated cloud convection

Prediction of western disturbances and associated weather over Western Himalayas

Understanding the detectability of potential changes to the 100-year peak storm surge

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  • Dust storm followed by gusty winds and rain on 13 May , 2018 lashed north India reaching out to some States in Southern India , killing over 50 and causing widespread destruction , a reminiscent of something , more or less , similar to that happened in first week of May 2018 across the northern India. These happenings are one of following alerts of this Vedic astrology writer issued in April , on 8 May and after in present year 2018 for more care and appropriate strategy :-
    (1) The ongoing planetary impacts for India suggest a need for more care and appropriate strategy against weather vagaries or weather extremities by way of dust storms , thunder storm , lightening , hails , landslides etc during 8 May to 6 June , more so from 8 May to 25 May , in the present year 2018.
    (2) It may be correct to be on guard against fire sensitive substances or fire during the aforesaid period of time.
    (3) It may also be apt to take more care and appropriate strategy against likely quake jolts during the said period and while driving on road or rail.
    (4) Health concerns relating to head , stomach , eyes , causing headache , body ache , fever , indigestion , weakening of general physical stamina or weakening of immunity system in the body. It may be apt to have a controlled or systematized diet which easily digests, enough pure or filtered water , fresh vegetables and seasonal fruits , and if there is no objection from medical pint of view , take small quantity of river or sea fish periodically , say weekly.
    (5) 16 and 17 May in present year 2018 may also call for more care and appropriate strategy against any of aforesaid.
    (6) Political , Judiciary , religion , what is right and what is wrong themes , could be in focus for heightened discussion and analysis during said time.
    (7) Northern States like HP , J&K , Uttarakhand , Chandigarh , Punjab , Haryana , Delhi-NCR , UP , Rajasthan , some parts of Bihar , some parts of West Bengal , north –east States of Meghalaya , Manipur , Mizoram , Arunachal Pradesh and could even touch reach out to some southern States like Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
    (8) Having said that , these are indications of likely trends , quatum and size of which can be reasonably figured out imaginatively only while more care and appropriate strategy has weight to cope up wholly or substantially. So these alerts need not be construed to be alarm for panic.

    Posted by: Kushal Kumar | 3 months ago | Reply