From Sandeep Sharma
GUWAHATI: Assam witnessed 339,412 lightning pulses in 2020 as per Earth Networks’ Total Lightning Network findings.
Earth Networks, the operator of a nationwide lightning detection network in India, released its 2020 India Lightning report today.
For all of 2020, Earth Networks’ Total Lightning Network detected 39,549,444 lightning pulses in India, of which 12,022,402 were dangerous cloud-to-ground strikes.
The top 5 states with the most lightning last year were Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal, and Odisha. Exploring the interactive map of Indian lightning data by state, it shows that Assam had witnessed 339,412 lightning pulses in 2020.
In 2020, India saw the highest concentration of lightning in May, June, and September because of the monsoon season. In 2020, although the rainfall average across India reached 109% (just 1% less than the 2019 average of 110%), the lightning increased by 22.6% compared to 2019.
Such severe weather and the dangers of lightning pose a great threat to the Indian population. India experiences extreme amounts of heat and moisture due to the country’s proximity to the equator and the Indian Ocean, contributing to severe and sudden thunderstorms throughout South Asia. According to a study by the National Crime Records Bureau, since 2001, 2,360 people have died in India every year due to lightning.
Building Resilience to Severe Weather
With the Indian Monsoon now fully advanced, the country has experienced tragic deaths due to severe weather within the past few weeks. It is Earth Networks’ mission to enable a safer, more prosperous world through the dissemination of early warning for natural disasters such as thunderstorms, flooding, and severe storms. The company offers comprehensive visualization and alerting tools that enable India’s disaster management agencies to issue automatic warnings and estimate storm arrival times to help save lives and reduce property damage. Currently, Earth Networks works with various central and state agencies, universities, and private industry sectors across India.
Government agencies such as the Indian Armed Forces, Ministry of Earth Sciences, and NESAC collaborate with Earth Networks’ lightning sensors and their data and analytics to increase their preparations for severe weather.
“The Earth Networks Total Lightning Network is a vital component to keeping the population of India aware and prepared for severe weather events,” said Kumar Margasahayam, Regional Manager of Asia at Earth Networks. “India is extremely susceptible to severe weather events, and our ability to predict and warn citizens of severe weather up to 45 minutes before it arrives helps save lives and protect property.”
With climate change and rising temperatures, the incidence of severe thunderstorms will only increase. Effective early warning systems coupled with effective action plans to save lives is key to keeping communities safe. Action plans need to consider the dissemination of alerts in a timely manner and ensure that everyone is receiving them. One of the most important roles that Disaster Management agencies and NGOs can play is in imparting education to even the most remote villages, so people understand what actions need to be taken when they receive alerts or warnings.
Earth Networks Total Lightning Network is the most extensive and technologically advanced lightning network in the world. Its ability to monitor both cloud-to-ground and in-cloud lightning in near real time enables faster localized storm alerts which include location, coverage, intensity, trends, and warnings of other forms of severe weather.
Earth Networks is proud of its association and the support coming from various state disaster management authorities in India and is looking forward to more such partnerships to help save more lives and reduce damages caused by severe weather events.
Earth Networks, part of the Advanced Environmental Monitoring family of innovators, has been taking the Pulse of the Planet for more than 20 years. We help organizations mitigate financial, operation, and human risk by providing environmental intelligence from the world’s largest hyperlocal weather network. Schools, airports, sports teams, utilities, and government agencies rely on our early warning solutions to safeguard lives, prepare for weather events, and optimize operations. Companies across all industries use weather data to automate decisions regarding risk management, business continuity, and asset protection.