- Mini-cloud bursts are increasing in India
- A mini-cloud burst is defined as rainfall in excess of 50 mm in two consecutive hours.
- The term was coined by the scientists at Pune’s Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology(IITM) due to an increase in heavy rainfall of short durations during the summer monsoon in India.
- Researcher’s finding:
- The researchers found an average of 200 mini-cloud bursts occurring every year in India.
- Between 1988 and 2007, there were around 265 mini-cloud bursts.
- Over most parts of India, the highest recorded rainfall in two hours is 100-150 mm
- The locations (other than the mountainous regions of Himalayas) that have recorded rainfall of over 150 mm in two hours are those that also experience cloud bursts.
- The study found that mini-cloud bursts are “very common” in the foothills of the Himalayas.
- The west coast records more than three mini-cloud bursts per season, the Indo-Gangetic plains and the Saurashtra region receive two per season.
- Rajasthan and States to the east of the Western Ghats experience the least number of mini-cloud bursts.
- For the rest of India, the amount of rainfall per mini-cloud burst is 50-70 mm.
- Comparison with Cloud burst:
- The Indian Meteorological Department recognized cloud bursts- heavy rainfall, in the mountainous regions of Himalayas .
- In contrast, mini-cloud bursts are indicative of torrential downpour but of lower intensity than cloud bursts.
- Classification of rainfall:
- Presently, the IMD classifies rainfall as heavy (over 60.5 mm), very heavy (over 130 mm) and extremely heavy (over 200 mm).