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The reason behind hail and rain in Maharashtra: Is it the El Nino effect or global warming?

Wednesday, 12 March 2014 - 11:13am IST | Place: Pune | Agency: DNA
Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology tries to decode the reasons for hailstorms that have lashed various parts of the state
  • Hail-Marathwada-Maharashtra Rain and Hail leave Maharashtra baffled. DNA Correspondent DNA

Pune: Is the ongoing hailstorm because of the El Nino effect? According to experts, the hailstorm which has created havoc in central India can be possibly connected to El Nino, which might have brought the freezing level down because of which the country is witnessing such an unusual phenomena.

J R Kulkarni, a senior scientist with Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), who is also a program manager of Cloud Aerosol Interaction and Precipitation Enhancement Experiment (CAIPEX) has said that it can be a combined effect of El Nino and global warming, but a deeper study will be required, to know actual cause. 

Speaking to dna, Kulkarni said, “It will not be a continuous process, and it will get over in next few days. But it looks partly El Nino effect. It is not just the hailstorm, but we are also witnessing excessive snowfall in Jammu and Kashmir as well as in parts of America.”

Though Kulkarni clarified that it will require extensive study to find out whether it is an effect of global warming, he made it clear that the solar energy lifts up the surface moisture to the higher level which develops hailstone. 

Explaining the process of development of moisture into hailstorm, Kulkarni said, “ The moisture is lifted in the atmosphere and as it goes up to one kilometer vertical, it gets condensed and clouds are formed. If it is lifted upward further up to four kilometers, the temperature goes to zero degree Celsius but the water does not freeze in the atmosphere and it is called as super cool water. the super cool water starts accumulating on the small particles and it forms ice.”

“If the iced particles goes further upwards, up to nearly six kilometers in the atmosphere, the particles takes shape of hailstone. Till this time, the particles and the moisture has upward movement but after it takes the form of a hailstone, it starts coming down to the surface due to the weight of the hailstone and we experience hailstorm,” Kulkarni said. 

Speaking about the present phenomena, Kulkarni added, “The winds in the mid latitude of 60 to 90 blow from west to east and they are cold. As the cold air accumulates, it creates a force and it comes down to the lower latitude. At present we are witnessing that the freezing level of the atmosphere has come down, due to which the hailstone is being formed at low level and we are witnessing hailstorm in wider area of the country.”




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