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Lightning Phenomena in India

Context: As per the recent study by the Delhi-based RMSI, Kottayam is the most prone to lightning fatalities among the 14 districts in Kerala.

 

Key Points: 

  • As per the recent study by the Delhi-based RMSI, a global leader in geospatial and engineering solutions, Kottayam is the most prone to lightning fatalities among the 14 districts in Kerala. It is followed by Idukki and Ernakulam, especially in the pre-monsoon season (64% between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.). 
  • The study also found that males account for around 89% of the total lightning fatalities in India. 
  • Lightning fatalities are more common in the summer than in the monsoon season in Kerala, and the west coast of India than in the rest of the country. 
  • The maximum thunderstorm days in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and adjoining parts of Karnataka (west coast of India) are observed during the pre-monsoon season (April–May) than in the monsoon season (June–September). Here, most of the cloud-to-ground flashes from 1998 to 2005 occurred during April–June, with peak activity in May. The availability of moisture and low-level winds play a dominant role in forming thunderstorms in these areas. 
  • Kerala, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Karnataka are the top five States identified for lightning fatalities based on data from 1979 to 201. 
  • In recent years, the occurrence of lightning flashes and deaths related to them have increased significantly. 
  • Global factors such as climate change play a pivotal role in the rise in lightning strikes. Recent studies suggest that a rise in average global temperatures by 1 degree Celsius would increase the frequency of lightning by at least 12%.

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