Even as there was a cloudburst in Himachal Pradesh, monsoon is yet to arrive in Delhi, Haryana, parts of west Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and West Rajasthan.
For more than a week, the monsoon rainfall remained absent from most parts of the country except the foot hills of Himalaya. Meanwhile, despite this disparity, the nature continued to spit its venom in the form of calamities.
As a whole, India sees 2,000-2,500 lightning deaths every year on average. Lightning is the biggest contributor to accidental deaths due to natural causes. Many people are struck by lightning while standing in flooded paddy fields. Met office routinely issues warnings for thunderstorms. But this is a very generic advisory, and for locations that are very large in area. Predicting a thunderstorm over a pinpointed location is not possible. Nor is it possible to predict the exact time of a likely lightning strike.
AND EX GRATIA
In a tweet quoting Modi, the PMO said, "Saddened by the loss of lives due to lightning in parts of Madhya Pradesh. The State Government will provide all possible assistance to the affected. From the PMNRF, Rs 2 lakh would be given to the next of kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 would be given to the injured: PM Modi."
Incessant Monsoon rains have triggered cloudbursts, flash floods and widespread destruction in Himachal Pradesh. Videos of flash flood in Dharamshala, an extremely popular tourist destination for many in North India’s Plains, have gone viral.
WHY A CLOUDBURST
A cloudburst is sudden copious rainfall. It is a sudden aggressive rainstorm falling for a short period of time limited to a small geographical area. Meteorologists say the rain from a cloudburst is usually of the shower type with a fall rate equal to or greater than 100 mm (4.94 inches) per hour.
Why @ hilly areas?
The topographical conditions like steep hills favour the formation of these clouds. And also the devastations, as water flowing down the steep slopes bring debris, boulders and uprooted trees with great velocity damaging any structure that comes in their way.
NO SATISFYING PREDICTION SO FAR
There is no satisfactory technique to predict a cloudburst because of their small scale.
RAIN PLAYS HIDE AND SEEK
As rains continued to play truant in Delhi, the IMD said the failure of numerical models in predicting the monsoon advance over the capital this time is "rare and uncommon.
In 2002, monsoon reached Delhi on July 19. This is the most-delayed monsoon in the city since then.
Meanwhile, IMD has issued an orange alert for Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir, and yellow alert for Himachal, Uttarakhand and UP for Tuesday with warning of heavy rains. "In association with continued prevalence of moist easterly winds from the Bay of Bengal in the lower levels since the past three days, enhanced cloud cover and scattered to fairly widespread rainfall during past 24 hours, the southwest monsoon has further advanced and covered most parts of Rajasthan and Punjab and some more parts of Haryana and west UP on July 12," the Met office said.