Characteristics of thunderstorms and squalls over Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport, New Delhi - Impact on environment especially on summer’s day temperatures and use in forecasting
Keywords:Thunderstorms (TS), Duration and Commencement timings, Environmental effect
In the present study, commencement timings and duration of thunderstorms (TS) and squalls at IGI airport, Palam, New Delhi have been analysed critically based on most recent eleven years data of 1995-2005 to find their favourable time of occurrences. Then utility of such data base in the aviation warning has been demonstrated. Environmental changes associated with these squalls have also been further analysed to understand their impact. Being recent May 2007 a very cool month over Delhi, the role of TS on controlling the day’s soaring temperature has also been studied from their data. Results show TS are maximum in June followed by July whereas squalls are maximum in May followed by June. It shows more than 80% of TS in each season are of duration less than 3 hours with remaining are mostly 3 to 6 hours. The peak time period of commencement of both TS and squalls in the day differ with the progress of the months. For pre monsoon months, the most favourable timing of TS and squalls are 1200-1500 UTC while for monsoon, it starts earlier. Around 37% of the total TS during the period were associated with squalls. The average maximum wind speed in squall at IGI airport is about 68 kmph with highest maximum wind speed 139 kmph. On an average the environmental temperature falls by 5.6° C, humidity levels rises by 17.8% and mean sea level pressure rises by 1.6 hPa due to the occurrences of squalls. Study also shows daily maximum temperature rise is highly controlled by TS occurrences and May 2007, being a month of highest TS occurrences at the airport since 1995, became one of the coolest month in May over Delhi. The comparison of TS frequencies shows 12% increase in their annual activities since 1950-1980 with very high unusual increase of 51% in June and 26% in May. Since analysis of data from 1995 shows occurrences of TS are reversely but strongly correlated with summer temperatures and longer period temperature data since 1975 also confirms absence of significant trend in maximum temperature and higher temperature days in peak summer months of May and June till recent as expected due to high pollution, global warming and fast urbanization in the city, so it is the higher number of TS occurrences over the region from time to time which might have been main factor for controlling its significant rise.
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