Bhubaneswar, October 6, 2018: An “International Conference on Thunderstorm and Lightning (ICTLT)” is all set to be organised in Bhubaneswar between January 17 and 19 next year.
“The proposed conference is expected to provide an excellent platform for networking of scientists, academicians, operational researchers, planners, extension personnel and different levels of stakeholders to share their views and expertise through intense interactions,” said a Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) communiqué.
This will contribute to diminish the adverse weather phenomena and develop community adaptation strategies, it said.
Thunderstorm is a violent, short-lived weather disturbance which is associated with lightning, thunder, dense clouds, heavy rain or hail, and strong gusty winds. Usually, thunderstorms have a spatial extent of a few kilometers and a life span of less than an hour. However, multi-cell thunderstorms may have a life span of several hours and travel over ten to hundred kilometers.
A thunderstorm forms from a combination of moisture, rapidly rising air and a force that can lift the air (cold and warm fronts, a sea breeze or a mountain etc.).
The associated lightning is an electric spark discharge in the atmosphere, occurring within a thundercloud, between clouds, or between a cloud and the ground due to the build up of positive and negative charges.
A bolt of lightning results a peak temperature 50,000 0F in a fraction of second and the contrasting temperature difference of air near the lightning results to thunder.
This outburst of severe local storms has a significant socioeconomic impact due to loss of lives and damage of property.
The causalities recorded due to lightning strikes occupy the second most meteorological disaster over India. Past five decadal statistics revealed that the death toll shares 39% of capacities due to natural disasters.
In recent times, the thunderstorms over urban regions have also posed a great threat to the community in terms of urban flooding.
Hence, forecasting of thunderstorms has become a challenging task for the weather scientists due to their rather small spatial and temporal scales and the inherent non-linearity of their dynamics and physics.