IMD Indian Meteorological Department issued an alert for the next 48 hours at various places in the country including Delhi NCR. It’s been since past two weeks we are being warned about similar weather conditions. According to the news more than hundreds of people are killed and other two hundreds are injured, when several regions of north India were hit by severe weather condition with a trail of destruction that brought down mud houses, uprooted trees, flattened crops with reduced visibility affecting air and road transportation.
My purpose for this article is to highlight some information about occurring meteorological phenomenon i.e dust storm.
What is dust storm? A dust storm is a natural phenomenon that occurs when a strong wind such as gust front blows fine sand particles and dust from a dry surface.
In India pre-monsoon weather includes activities like dust storms, thunderstorms, rain, lightning strikes. As a norm not more than two pre monsoon storms are recorded in India. Occurrence of more than one severe storm with in span of a week has been very rare in northern parts of our country.
According to the data compiled by IMD, the severe thunderstorm last week caused the most devastation by any single day storm event in India in the past six years.
High mortality rate due to heat waves during pre-monsoon and widespread flood has become routine now.
Pre-monsoon dust are not out of the ordinary but the confluence of the multiple factors together to give us dust storms that have covered a larger part of India extending into north east and central south India.
what is happening now? Weather is not following its own rule at the moment. Increase in earth’s average temperature due to global warming, ecological disorder and green cover depletion is the main culprit behind this meteorological activity. With the rise in global temperature soil is going to become drier so, the amount of soil that wind can carry is also increasing. With the increasing intensity of the wind and dryness of soil, the intensity of dust storm is going to further increase in the future.
There has been no focussed study on trends related to dust storm and thunderstorm as they are a common phenomenon every year. But its increasing intensity has led to its detailed study. According to scientists in coming years there could be more instances of severe and frequent thunderstorms and dust storms.
Few tips to be safe?
keep a watch on local weather updates
try to stay indoors
stay away from structures with tin roofs/metal sheeting
don’t take shelter under/ near trees
Cover your mouth and nose immediately
find a shelter
if driving pull aside wait until visibility resumes
recent events all over India is just a reminder that forest degradation, rapid industrialisation, urbanization and human interference by means of excessive construction activities are only aggravating the negative outcomes of global warming. In my opinion it’s Mother Nature way to convey a message to human race to stop trespassing its boundary.
The only good news is that IMD has predicted each of the thunderstorms in time.