‘Hailstorms are unfavourable for monsoon’

Sakal Times
Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Meteorologist JR Kulkarni also highlighted the hailstorms-climate change link

Pune: “A hailstorm is an indication of large scale changes in circulation and is one of many criteria, which is unfavourable for monsoon,” said meteorologist JR Kulkarni, a former team expert in Weather Modification Research and retired scientist of Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM).

Kulkarni was delivering a lecture at IMD, Simla Office in Shivajinagar, on Tuesday, and spoke on the recent hailstorms seen over parts of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh and their causes, forecast, ways of suppression and impact on the coming monsoon. Speaking about the likely effect of the recent hailstorm on the coming monsoon, Kulkarni said that a hailstorm indicates low index circulation, which is unfavourable for monsoon. 

“Yet this is just one of the indications and may not have a direct relation, which can be established between hailstorm and rainfall. It should be understood that monsoon is not driven by any single parameter and favourability of monsoon is dependent on many other parameters,” said Kulkarni.

He further noted that the recent hailstorm, which caused large scale devastation, could be a result of climate change. “From around 1980 onwards is when the impact of climate change on the atmospheric features has been seen. Climate change intensifies the hydrological cycle, increase in extreme events and increases hailstorm frequency,” said Kulkarni. 

He further stated that since four years, hailstorms in February over north peninsular India, which includes Vidarbha, Marathwada, Madhya Pradesh and central Maharashtra, have become a regular feature. Kulkarni also highlighted that presently there are no instruments, which can categorise hailstorms based on size and frequency. At present, data of the hailstorm, which occurred during February, is not yet available. 

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