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Current Affairs

Cloudbursts could become more frequent

Date: 31 July 2021 Tags: Climate Change

Issue

Recently, a cloud-burst event hit a remote village in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir Union territory.

 

Background

The event is not unique. Similar events have been reported from many parts of the country, leading to loss of life and property.

 

Details

  • Cloud burst events have taken place in Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh, Uttarakhand and, J&K in the months of July and August.

  • Cloudbursts are intense and short-duration rainfall over a small area. Over a geographical region of 20-30 sq km, more than 100mm/h of precipitation takes place.

 

Factors affecting cloudburst

 Rainfall, cloud water content, wind speed, wind direction,  cloud particle radius, cloud mixing ratio, atmospheric pressure, cloud fraction, relative humidity etc.

 

Conditions during cloudbursts

The relative humidity and cloud cover was at the maximum level during cloudburst. In addition, there was low temperature and slow winds.

 

Occurrence

High amount of cloud condensation may take place due to the conditions, which may result in rapid rainfall causing a cloudburst.

 

Relation with climate change

  • Due to climate change, there are high chances of increase in frequency and intensity of cloudbursts in different parts of the world.

  • In the next one of the five years, the global average temperature is expected to increase by 1.5 degree above pre-industrial level.

  • As global temperature rises, the moisture holding capacity increases. This will result in heavy and rapid rainfall over short duration.

  • An intense rainfall of about 30-40 minutes in enough to cause flash floods in mountain areas and also large cities.