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Cloudburst

Cloudburst:

Over 20 people have been killed in the destruction caused by cloudbursts and flash floods in different parts of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand recently.

  • A cloudburst is a localised but intense rainfall activity. Short spells of very heavy rainfall over a small geographical area can cause widespread destruction, especially in hilly regions where this phenomenon is the most common.
  • A cloudburst has a rainfall of 10 cm or more in an hour over a roughly 10 km x 10-km area is classified as a cloudburst event.
  • Cloudbursts are not uncommon events, particularly during the monsoon months.
  • Most of these happen in the Himalayan states where the local topology, wind systems, and temperature gradients between the lower and upper atmosphere facilitate the occurrence of such events.
  • Specific cloudburst events cannot be forecast.
  • No forecast ever mentions a possibility of a cloudburst.
  • But there are warnings for heavy to very heavy rainfall events, and these are routinely forecast four to five days in advance.

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