Climatology : news and updates


“Anti-hail guns” and their application in preventing hail storm

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What is the news?

‘Anti-hail guns’, developed indigenously, will be tested by the Himachal Pradesh government to help out horticulturists who face crop damage due to hailstorms.

What are anti-hail guns?
  • An anti-hail gun is a machine that generates shock waves to disrupt the growth of hailstones in clouds.
Who has developed these anti-hail guns?

These anti-hail guns have been developed indigenously by IIT Bombay along with Dr Y S Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry at Nauni (Solan). They are likely to be much cheaper than the imported ones.

How do anti-hail guns prevent a hail storm?

  • Anti-hail gun comprises a tall, fixed structure somewhat resembling an inverted tower, several meters high with a long and narrow cone opening towards the sky.
  • The gun is “fired” by feeding an explosive mixture of acetylene gasair into its lower chamber. This releases a shock wave (waves that travel faster than the speed of sound, such as those produced by supersonic aircraft).
  • These shock waves supposedly stop water droplets in clouds from turning into hailstones, so that they fall simply as raindrops.
What are Hailstorms?
  • A hailstorm is an unusual weather phenomenon in which balls of ice, called hail, fall from the sky. The ice balls are nothing more than solid precipitation that forms under certain conditions.
How are Hails formed?
  • Hails are formed by cumulonimbus clouds which are generally large and dark and may cause thunder and lightning.
  • In such clouds, winds can blow up the water droplets to heights where they freeze into ice.
  • The frozen droplets begin to fall but are soon pushed back up by the winds and more droplets freeze onto them, resulting in multiple layers of ice on the hailstones.
  • This fall and rise are repeated several times, till the hailstones become too heavy and fall down.
Previous such anti-hail guns used in Himachal:
  • In 2010, the Himachal Pradesh government had imported three anti-hail guns from the United States. They were installed in the apple-growing belt of Shimla where hailstorms in summer cause severe damage to the fruit every year.
  • Two of the machines are currently functional, while the third one was rejected by local residents.
  • State horticulture department officials maintain that since the installation of the guns, hail has occurred very few times in the villages.

Source: Indian Express

 

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Factly: Science and Technology, PUBLICTagged ,

IMD’s new Dynamical Forecast Model

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Synopsis – IMD recently updated the status of the monsoon and predicted a normal monsoon this year. IMD has adopted a new Dynamical Forecast Model. It will allow farmers, government officials, disaster managers, and other stakeholders to better prepare for their activities.

Introduction-
  • The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast a normal monsoon for this year.
  • Further, the southwest monsoon in 2021, which will begin in June, is forecast to be regular, with 98 percent of the Long Period Average rainfall (LPA).
  • During the monsoon season, weak El Nino conditions are likely to prevail, with severity decreasing as the season progresses.
  • Rainfall between 96 and 104 percent of the Long Period Average [LPA] is considered normal.
What is the importance of the new Dynamical monsoon Model?

New Dynamical Monsoon Forecast Model uses the evolving weather patterns to predict monsoon. It is not like the traditional method in which the forecast was based on a fixed set of meteorological variables.

  • Also, dynamic models are useful for predicting rainfall over smaller spatial and temporal scales. It is not possible with IMD’s previous statistical forecasting method.
  • IMD will forecast rainfall for June and September, using this model. It was previously difficult to predict due to the monsoon’s arrival and departure.
  • There will also be forecasts for the monsoon core zone [MCZ]. It represents most of the rain-fed agriculture regions in the country.
Why is it important to correctly forecast rainfall?
  1. For disaster preparedness – Accurate forecasts will aid in the implementation of preventative measures, the reduction of vulnerabilities. It can also prevent extreme events from turning into disasters.
    • For example- Preparation of a heat plan/forest fires plan in case of hot summer.
  2. For agriculture purposes – Farmers can decide on sowing time based on local conditions. Also, they can decide the type of crop that is best suited to the conditions, using accurate forecasting.
  3. For Government planning- the Centre and states can prepare better joint plans with respect to agriculture; such as drought action plan, MSP and buffer creation. It can better use and optimize government schemes
  4. For several business and service sector industries which need weather products.
Way forward-

IMD’s move from a statistical to Dynamical Forecast model will improve the accuracy of its forecast, so that farmers, policymakers, local administration, scientists & aid organizations can make most of it.

Source- The Hindu

Posted in 9 PM Daily Articles, PUBLICTagged

Impacts of Desert Dust Particles on “Indian Summer Monsoon”

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What is the News? A new study shows the impacts of desert dust coming from the West, Central, and East Asia in the Indian Summer Monsoon.

Impacts of Desert Dust Particles on Indian Summer Monsoon:
  • Strong winds carry the dust particles from the Middle East into the atmosphere. Dust particles absorb solar radiation and become extremely hot.
  • This causes the atmosphere to heat. The heat decreases the air pressure and changes wind circulation patterns. Further, it increases the moisture transport capacity of air and increases precipitation and rainfall.
  • This phenomenon is termed an “elevated heat pump”. It is responsible for driving moisture from the sea to the Indian subcontinent.
Positive Feedback Loop:
  • Positive Feedback Loop is a loop where the result of a reaction leads to an enhancement of that very reaction.
  • In this case, too, a positive feedback loop plays a role when the dust particles from the Middle East boost the power of Indian monsoons.
  • In turn, the monsoons increase the winds in the Middle East and subsequently produce more dust aerosols.
Role of Iranian Plateau on Indian Summer Monsoon:
  • Iranian Plateau also influences the Indian Summer Monsoon. The hot air over the Iranian Plateau can heat the atmosphere over the plateau. It further strengthens the circulation over the deserts of the Arabian Peninsula and increases dust emission from the Middle East [West Asia].
Influence of Aerosols on Indian Summer Monsoon:
  • Aerosol is a suspension of fine solid particles or liquid droplets in air or another gas. Aerosols can be natural or anthropogenic:
    • Examples of natural aerosols are fog, mist, dust, forest exudates, and geyser steam.
    • Examples of anthropogenic aerosols are particulate air pollutants and smoke.
  • Some studies have found that anthropogenic aerosols emitted from the Indian subcontinent can decrease summer monsoon precipitation.
  • While other studies have found that absorbing aerosols such as dust can strengthen the monsoon circulation.
  • However, in this study, it was found that anthropogenic aerosols can strengthen Indian summer monsoon rainfall.

Influence of Dust Particles across the Globe: Dust Particles from deserts across the globe play important role in monsoons:

  • The dust aerosols from deserts in West China such as the Taklamakan Desert and the Gobi Desert can be transported eastward to eastern China and can influence the East Asia summer monsoon.
  • The small deserts in the southwest United States are known to influence the North African monsoon.

Source: The Hindu

 

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Miscellaneous, PUBLICTagged

Why Cherrapunji is receiving low rainfall?

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What is the News?

According to a study, Mawsynram(Meghalaya) become the wettest place in the World. It has replaced Cherrapunji(Meghalaya) from the top spot. Mawsynram receives over 10,000 MM of rain in a year.

About the study:

  • The study looked at the rainfall pattern of the past 119 years (period of 1901–2019). It found a decreasing rainfall trend at Cherrapunji and nearby areas.
  • The 1973–2019 period shows a decrease of about 0.42 mm per decade in rainfall. This trend was statistically significant at seven stations (Agartala, Cherrapunji, Guwahati, Kailashahar, Pasighat, Shillong and Silchar).

What was the need for this study?

  • Northeast India is highly sensitive to changes in regional and global climate. The first signs of the effect of climate change will be evident in extreme cases such as the rainfall at Cherrapunji.
  • Northeast India also has the highest vegetation cover in India. It includes 18 biodiversity hotspots of the world,
  • Thus, it is important in terms of its greenery and climate-change sensitivity.

Reasons for decreasing trend of rainfall:

  • Changes in Temperature: The changes in the Indian Ocean temperature have a huge effect on the rainfall in the NorthEast region.
  • Reduction in Vegetation Area: Satellite data analysis shows a reduction in the vegetation area in northeast India. Lesser vegetation results in changing rainfall patterns.
  • Increase in Cropland Area and Deforestation: Jhum cultivation or shifting cultivation in the region has contributed to deforestation and an increase in cropland area.

Jhum Cultivation:

  • Jhum Cultivation also known as shifting cultivation. It is a slash-and-burn agricultural practice that is widely practised among the indigenous communities of Northeast India.
  • Under this cultivation, the farmers grow the crops by first clearing the land of trees and vegetation and burning them thereafter. The burnt soil contains potash which increases the nutrient content of the soil.

Source: The Hindu

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Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, PUBLICTagged

How Tropical cyclones are formed?

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News: Cyclone Burevi has weakened into a deep depression as its interaction with a landmass in Tamil Nadu has slowed its movement and intensity.

Cyclonic disturbances are rapid weather systems, which include weather depressions, deep depressions, and tropical cyclones (of severe, very severe, extremely severe, and super cyclonic storms depending on their intensity).

What is Tropical cyclone Burevi ?

Tropical cyclones are violent storms that originate over oceans in tropical areas and move over to the coastal areas bringing about large-scale destruction caused by violent winds, very heavy rainfall, and storm surges.

Cyclones create a whirl in the atmosphere with very strong winds circulating around it in an anti-clockwise direction in the Northern Hemisphere and in a clockwise direction in the Southern Hemisphere.

The pressure gradient falls towards the center from all directions and therefore winds try to converge towards the center from all directions. The air blows inwards in an anticlockwise direction in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern hemisphere.

Conditions for formation of Cyclones

The conditions favorable for the formation and intensification of tropical storms are:

  1. A consistent source of heat as tropical cyclones are thermally induced low-pressure systems.
  2. Large sea surface with a temperature higher than 27° C which is possible only during the late summers i.e. September, October, and November
  3. Presence of the Coriolis force.
  4. Small variations in the vertical wind speed.
  5. A pre-existing weak low-pressure area or low-level-cyclonic circulation;
  6. Upper divergence above the sea level system.

Structure of Tropical Cyclone

The structure of a Tropical Cyclone is typically a massive cumulonimbus cloud with rapidly rising air spiraling upwards at the margins of the eye. An eye is a region of calm with subsiding air. Around the eye is the Eyewall, where strong spiraling winds ascends and the height can reach up to the tropopause.

Tropical cyclones are formed by the following parts:

Eye:  

The eye is the center of cyclones which is characterized by a calm area, sinking, and light wind. The eye is the calmest part of the Cyclone structure.

Conservation of angular momentum and centrifugal force are the reasons behind its formation.

Eyewall:

A band around the eye of the greatest wind speed, where clouds reach the highest and precipitation is the heaviest. The heaviest wind damage occurs where a hurricane’s eyewall passes over land.

Rain bands:

Curved bands of clouds and thunderstorms that trail away from the eyewall in a spiral fashion. These bands are capable of producing heavy bursts of rain and wind. Sometimes gaps are found between spiral rain bands, where no impact (wind or rain) of cyclones are found.

Formation of Tropical Cyclones

Cyclone Structure

  • As mentioned in the conditions, air temperature higher than 27° C with an abundant and turbulent transfer of water vapor to the overlying atmosphere (air) by evaporation is required for the formation of Cyclones, which is facilitated by direct insolation.
  • As the low-pressure area is created over sea pockets and high pressure on the surrounding areas, air starts to flow from the high-pressure area to low-pressure pockets.
  • The Coriolis force causes the wind to spiral around a low-pressure area. As the presence of Coriolis force is negligible in the equatorial belt between 5 degrees north and 5 degrees south latitudes, hence cyclonic systems do not develop in this region.
  • Heated sea surface starts to heat the air over that leading to air moving up and away from the ocean surface due to convection, it leaves less air near the surface. Cool Air from the surrounding areas rushes towards the empty area to fill it, which after reaching there gets heated and picks moisture and starts rising upwards. It creates the cycle of air moving in and up.
  • As the moist air rises up, it starts cooling with the altitude (temperature falls with the height), and the process of condensation starts. It results in the release of the latent heat of condensation. The latent heat of condensation is what drives the storm and leads to the formation of clouds.
  • The energy that intensifies the storm, comes from the condensation process in the towering cumulonimbus clouds, surrounding the center of the storm (Eye).
  • With the increasing altitude, the air cools down to an extent at tropopause where it fails to rise any further and starts to diverge outside horizontally.
  • The whole system of clouds and wind spins and grows, fed by the ocean’s heat and water evaporating from the ocean surface. As the storm system rotates faster and faster, an eye forms in the center.
  • A mature tropical cyclone is characterized by the strong spirally circulating wind around the center, called the eye. The diameter of the circulating system can vary between 150 and 250 km.
  • Rain bands regions with cumulonimbus clouds are created, facilitating intense rainfall in that region. Cloud formation is dense at the center and density decrease towards the outside.

Conditions that slow or end Cyclones

  • With a continuous supply of moisture from the sea, the storm is further strengthened. On reaching the land the moisture supply is cut off and the storm dissipates. The place where a tropical cyclone crosses the coast is called the landfall of the cyclone.
  • Another condition that slowdown or ends a Cyclone is when dry, cool air is suddenly present in the system, which reduces the possibility of convection to keep the storm going.

Why More Cyclones are formed in Bay of Bengal?

There are other coastlines around the world that are vulnerable to surging storms – the Gulf Coast of Louisiana, for example – but the “north coast of the Bay of Bengal is more prone to catastrophic surges than anywhere on Earth”.

Both the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea are prone to Cyclonic storms, but Cyclonic activities are more intense and frequent in Bay of Bengal Compared to the Arabian Sea

  • High sea surface temperatures along with high humidity due to higher rainfall in the Bay of Bengal, triggers extremely strong cyclones.
  • Sluggish winds, along with warm air currents in the Bay of Bengal keep temperatures relatively high.
  • The supply of constant inflow of fresh water from the Ganga and Brahmaputra rivers makes it impossible for the warm water to mix with the cooler water below.
  • Cyclonic winds easily move into the Bay of Bengal due to the presence of moisture source from rivers and the absence of any large landmass unlike the Arabian Sea, where Cyclones usually weaken due to the presence of Western Ghats.
  • Whereas Arabian Sea receives stronger winds that help dissipate the heat, and the lack of constant fresh water supply helps the warm water mix with the cool water, reducing the temperature.

Classification of storms

Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), which classifies the low pressure systems in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea on the basis of capacity to damage, which is adopted by the WMO.

tropical cyclone classification

Benefits of Tropical Cyclones:

Although Tropical cyclones are known for the destruction they cause, when they strike, they also bestow certain benefits to the climatic conditions of that area such as

  • Relieve drought conditions: By bringing rain to the coastal areas, cyclones relieve the drought-like conditions in the surrounding areas.
  • Maintain equilibrium in the Earth’s troposphere: They Carry heat and energy away from the tropics towards temperate latitudes, thus helps in maintaining an equilibrium of the troposphere.
  • Cyclones help in maintaining a relatively stable and warm temperature worldwide.

Causes of destruction caused by Cyclones:

There are three elements associated with cyclones that cause destruction during its occurrence. These are:

Strong Gusts/Squall:
    • These are very strong winds that accompany a cyclonic storm damages installation, dwellings, communications systems, trees, resulting in loss of life and property.
  • Gusts: These are short but rapid bursts in wind speed. These are the main cause of damage. Gusts are generally short-lived.
  • Squalls: A squall is a strong rise in wind speed which generally lasts for some time. Squalls generally associated with the bands of thunderstorms.
Torrential rains and inland flooding:
  • Torrential rainfall (more than 30 cm/hour) associated with cyclones is another major cause of damages.
    • Unabated rain gives rise to unprecedented floods.
    • Rain is a serious problem for the people which become shelterless due to cyclone.
    • Heavy rainfall from a cyclone is usually spread over a wide area and causes large-scale soil erosion and weakening of embankments.
Storm Surge:
  • It can be defined as an abnormal rise of sea level near the coast caused by a severe tropical cyclone;
    • Seawater inundates low-lying areas of coastal regions drowning human beings and life stock, causes eroding beaches and embankments, destroys vegetation, and leads to a reduction of soil fertility.

Apart from these Cyclones also create destructions such as:

    • Sudden Change in Regional climate: The ability of cyclone to bring in warmer air is high. So, the elderly and children in those areas have a high vulnerability to develop heat-related problems such as heat strokes.
    • Loss of Livelihood: The majority of the coastal people generally depend on fishing which is completely halted by cyclones.
    • Loss of economy: The economic loss is in multifront from infrastructure loss, relief packages to people, etc.

Government Initiatives:

  • Government is carrying out a National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project (NCRMP) with the help of the World Bank to upgrade cyclone forecasting, tracking, and warning systems in India
  • Government is also implementing the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project (ICZMP) to improve national capacity for the implementation of comprehensive coastal management in India.
  • Government also separated Structural(includes construction) and non-structural measures for effective disaster management of cyclones
  • Solutions:
  • The government should consider the NDMA Guidelines for the management of cyclones:
  • Ensemble Warning System(EWS): Establish EWS involving observations, predictions, warnings, and customized local level advice for decision-makers (national, state, district level) to manage the impact of the cyclone (Read more about EWS)
  • Commissioning of Aircraft Probing of Cyclone (APC): Guidelines calls for the combination of manned and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) for critical observational data gaps.
  • Cyclone Disaster Management Information System (CDMIS): Establishing a comprehensive department for coverage of all management information and provide online services to the departments of Disaster management.
  • Specifying the roles and responsibilities in institutionalizing Cyclone risk mitigation with Developmental planning.
  • Community-Based Disaster Management (CBDM): Guidelines asked to launch such activities in all villages of the 84 districts vulnerable to cyclones.

Way forward:

  • With the adverse Climate Change risks posted by IPCC reports the only option for India is to better preparedness for the disaster with better urban planning, community awareness, etc.
Posted in 7 PMTagged , , ,

Cyclone Burevi

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News: Cyclone Burevi is heading towards the Tamil Nadu(TN) coast after crossing Sri Lanka.

Facts:

  • Cyclonic Burevi: It is a tropical cyclone formed over southwest Bay of Bengal.It is expected to bring heavy rainfall over south Tamil Nadu and south Kerala.
  • Named by: The name “Burevi” was suggested by the Maldives.

Additional Facts:

  • Tropical Cyclones: These are storms that originate and intensify over warm tropical oceans.They are intense low pressure areas with very strong winds circulating around it in anti-clockwise direction in the Northern Hemisphere and in clockwise direction in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • Different Names: Tropical Cyclones are known by different names in different regions:
    • Cyclones in Indian Ocean
    • Hurricanes in Atlantic
    • Typhoons in Western Pacific in South China Sea
    • Willy-Willies in Western Australia
  • Conditions: The conditions favourable for the formation and intensification of tropical cyclones are:
    • Large sea surface with temperature higher than 27° C;
    • Presence of the Coriolis force enough to create a cyclonic vortex
    • Small variations in the vertical wind speed;
    • A pre-existing weak low-pressure area or low-level-cyclonic circulation is must for cyclone formation in tropics
    • Upper divergence above the sea level system

How Tropical cyclone are formed?

Posted in 9 PM Daily Articles, daily news, Daily News UpdatesTagged ,

Cyclone Nivar: All about tropical cyclones

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This article has been created based on The Hindu Editorials:  Storm warnings: On weather forecast and Cyclone Nivar appeared on 27th November 2020.

Introduction

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Cyclone Nivar, which crossed the TN coast as a very severe cyclonic storm with wind speeds of 120 kmph and rain-filled, further weakened as it moved inland.

The storm system is likely to move northwestwards and weaken into low pressure. Subsequently, Cyclone Nivar weakened into a cyclonic storm and further into a deep depression, centered about 50 km west-southwest of Tirupati.

Cyclone Nivar is the second cyclone to form over the Bay of Bengal this year after Super Cyclone Amphan.

Read about Amphan and few basics in ForumIAS blog by clicking here

India Meteorological Department (IMD)

  • IMD is the principal agency for all matters relating to meteorology and allied subjects such as weather forecasting and seismology etc.
  • In the year 1875, the Government of India established the India Meteorological Department, bringing all meteorological work in the country under a central authority.
  • Mr. H. F. Blanford was appointed Meteorological Reporter to the Government of India. The first Director-General of Observatories was Sir John Eliot.
  • The Headquarters of the IMD was initially Calcutta but now headquarters located in New Delhi.
  • The administrative responsibilities of the Department are under the supervision of the Ministry of Earth Sciences

What are Tropical Cyclones?

They are violent storms that originate over oceans in tropical areas and move over to the coastal areas bringing about large-scale destruction caused by violent winds, very heavy rainfall and storm surges.

  • Conditions: The conditions favourable for the formation and intensification of tropical cyclones are:
    • Large sea surface with temperature higher than 27° C;
    • Presence of the Coriolis force enough to create a cyclonic vortex
    • Small variations in the vertical wind speed;
    • A pre-existing weak low-pressure area or low-level-cyclonic circulation is must for cyclone formation in tropics
    • Upper divergence above the sea level system.

Vulnerability of India to Cyclone:

  • Indian sub-continent is the worst affected region of the world, having a coast line of 7516 kms. (5400 kms along the mainland, 132 kms in Lakshadweep and 1900 kms in Andaman and Nicobar Islands) is exposed to nearly 10% of the world’s Tropical Cyclones.
  • 40% of the total population lives within 100 km of coastline.
  • Four States (Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal) and one UT (Pondicherry) on the East Coast and One State (Gujarat) on the West Coast are more vulnerable to cyclone disasters

Benefits of Tropical Cyclones:

Although Tropical cyclones are known for the destruction they cause, when they strike, they also bestow certain benefits to the climatic conditions of that area such as

  • Relieve drought conditions: By bringing rain to the coastal areas, cyclones relieve the drought like conditions in the surrounding areas.
  • Maintain equilibrium in the Earth’s troposphere: They Carry heat and energy away from the tropics towards temperate latitudes, thus helps in maintaining equilibrium of the troposphere.
  • Cyclones help in maintaining a relatively stable and warm temperature worldwide.

Causes of destruction caused by Cyclones:

There are three elements associated with cyclones that cause destruction during its occurrence. These are:

  • Strong Gusts/Squall:
    • These are very strong winds that accompany a cyclonic storm damages installation, dwellings, communications systems, trees, resulting in loss of life and property.
  • Gusts: These are short but rapid bursts in wind speed. These are the main cause of damage. Gusts are generally short-lived.
  • Squalls: A squall is a strong rise in wind speed which generally lasts for some time. Squalls generally associated with the bands of thunderstorms.
  • Torrential rains and inland flooding: Torrential rainfall (more than 30 cm/hour) associated with cyclones is another major cause of damages.
    • Unabated rain gives rise to unprecedented floods.
    • Rain is a serious problem for the people which become shelter less due to cyclone.
    • Heavy rainfall from a cyclone is usually spread over wide area and cause large scale soil erosion and weakening of embankments.
  • Storm Surge: It can be defined as an abnormal rise of sea level near the coast caused by a severe tropical cyclone;
    • Seawater inundates low-lying areas of coastal regions drowning human beings and life stock, causes eroding beaches and embankments, destroys vegetation, and leads to a reduction of soil fertility.
  • Apart from these Cyclones also create destructions such as
    • Sudden Change in Regional climate: The ability of cyclone to bring in warmer air is high. So, the elderly and children in those areas have a high vulnerability to develop heat-related problems such as heat strokes.
    • Loss of Livelihood: The majority of the coastal people generally depend on fishing which is completely halted by cyclones.
    • Loss of economy: The economic loss is in multifront from infrastructure loss, relief packages to people, etc.

Challenges in Cyclones Management:

  • Bare minimum Technology: At the terminal-end generally lacks the equipment and communication back-up to deal with the situation effectively.
  • Lack of grass root level participation: There is a wider awareness gap is there between disaster management from people’s end.
  • Multiple agencies: The IMD issues meteorological or weather forecasts while the Central Water Commission (CWC) issues flood forecasts at various river points. But cyclones bring the combination of problems. Before the integration of data people on the ground lost the “golden time”.
  • Low data: The government has not measured the peak flows in the rivers and canals to plan remedies and also not documented data on annual flooding patterns.
  • Absence of land use norms has spawned an amorphous housing sector characterized by inflated, speculative prices but no foundation of civic infrastructure.
  • Poor Urban planning: Many Indian cities lacks poor urban planning which is highlighted by floods in Chennai and Mumbai.
  • Climate Change: There are many proven records that exist between the link between the higher frequency of disaster and climate change.

Government Initiatives:

  • Government is carrying out a National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project (NCRMP) with the help of the World Bank for upgrade cyclone forecasting, tracking and warning systems in India
  • Government is also implementing Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project (ICZMP) to improve national capacity for the implementation of comprehensive coastal management in India.
  • Government also separated Structural(includes construction) and non-structural measures for effective disaster management of cyclones
  • Solutions:
  • The government should consider the NDMA Guidelines for the management of cyclones:
  • Ensemble Warning System(EWS): Establish EWS involving observations, predictions, warnings, and customized local level advice for decision-makers (national, state, district level) to manage the impact of the cyclone (Read more about EWS)
  • Commissioning of Aircraft Probing of Cyclone (APC): Guidelines calls for the combination of manned and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) for critical observational data gaps.
  • Cyclone Disaster Management Information System (CDMIS): Establishing a comprehensive department for coverage of all management information and provide online services to the departments of Disaster management.
  • Specifying the roles and responsibilities in institutionalizing Cyclone risk mitigation with Developmental planning.
  • Community Based Disaster Management (CBDM): Guidelines asked to launch such activities in all villages of the 84 districts vulnerable to cyclones.

Way forward:

  • With the adverse Climate Change risks posted by IPCC reports the only option for India is to better preparedness for the disaster with better urban planning, community awareness, etc.
Posted in 7 PMTagged , ,

Typhoon Goni: Asia’s most powerful tropical storm of 2020?

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News: Typhoon Goni has made landfall in the eastern Philippines.

Facts:

  • Typhoon Goni: It is a tropical cyclone that recently made landfall as an extremely powerful Category 5–equivalent super typhoon in the Philippines.

Additional Facts:

  • Tropical Cyclone: They are violent storms that originate over oceans in tropical areas and move over to the coastal areas bringing about large-scale destruction caused by violent winds, very heavy rainfall, and storm surges.
  • Wind Direction: The winds blow counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • Different Names: Tropical Cyclones are known by different names in different regions:
    • Cyclones in the Indian Ocean
    • Hurricanes in Atlantic
    • Typhoons in the Western Pacific in the South China Sea
    • Willy-Willies in Western Australia.
  • Conditions: The conditions favorable for the formation and intensification of tropical cyclones are:
    • Large sea surface with a temperature higher than 27° C;
    • Presence of the Coriolis force;
    • Small variations in the vertical wind speed;
    • A pre-existing weak- low-pressure area or low-level-cyclonic circulation and
    • Upper divergence above the sea level system.
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Super Cyclone Amphan Is Set to Hit India and Bangladesh

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Source: Click here

News: Cyclone Amphan has intensified into a super cyclonic storm and is expected to make landfall between West Bengal and Bangladesh close to Sundarbans.

Facts:

Cyclone Amphan:

  • Cyclone Amphan is a tropical cyclone formed over Bay of Bengal that has turned into a super cyclonic storm.
  • The Cyclone Amphan is also the strongest storm to have formed in the Bay of Bengal since the super cyclone of 1999 that ravaged Paradip in Odisha.

Why does the Bay of Bengal receive higher Cyclones compared to Arabian Sea?

  • Higher Rainfall: Bay of Bengal receives higher rainfall which provides required humidity for cyclone formation.
  • Location: The typhoons originating in the Pacific Ocean too influence the cyclones in BOB not the case in Arabian Sea.
  • Constant Inflow of Fresh Water: The inflow from the Ganga and Brahmaputra rivers makes it impossible for the warm water to mix with the cooler water making it ideal for a cyclonic depression.
  • Sluggish Winds: It keeps temperatures relatively high of about 28 degrees around the year.

Reasons responsible for intensification of Cyclones in Bay of Bengal:

  • In 2020, the Bay of Bengal has observed record summer temperatures due to global warming from fossil fuel emissions that have been heating up oceans.
  • However, such unusual warming around India is no longer restricted to just the BoB but also the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean.It makes storm prediction less reliable as well as disrupting monsoon patterns.
  • Further, reduced particulate matter emissions during the lockdown resulted in fewer aerosols such as black carbon that are known to reflect sunlight and heat away from the surface.

Classification of Cyclones: The criteria followed by Indian meteorological Department(IMD) to classify Cyclones in the Bay of Bengal and in the Arabian Sea are as under:

            Types of DisturbancesAssociated Wind Speed in the Circulation
              Low Pressure Area            <31 km/hr
              Depression          31-49 km/hr
              Deep Depression          50-61 km/hr
              Cyclonic Storm          62-88 km/hr (Here,IMD assigns the                                      name to Cyclone)
              Severe Cyclonic Storm          89-118 km/hr
              Very Severe Cyclonic Storm          119-221 km/hr
              Super Cyclonic Storm          >222 km/hr

Different Colour Codes:

  • Green(No warning): No advisory is issued in such cases.
  • Yellow(Be updated): It indicates severely bad weather panning across several days.It also suggests that the weather could change for the worse causing disruption in day-to-day activities.
  • Orange/ Amber(Be prepared): It is issued as a warning of extremely bad weather with the potential of disruption.It is also a sign for people to prepare for evacuation and protect themselves from bad weather.
  • Red(Take action): It is issued when the extremely bad weather conditions are certainly going to disrupt life.In this case, people must take all measures to protect their families and follow the instructions of local authorities and disaster-response teams.

Additional Facts:

  • IMD:It was established in 1875 under the Ministry of Earth Sciences.It is the principal agency responsible for meteorological observations, weather forecasting and seismology.
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