A satellite based study of pre-monsoon thunderstorms (Nor’westers) over eastern India and their organization into mesoscale convective complexes
Keywords:Thunderstorm, Nor’westers, INSAT (India National Satellite), CTT (Cloud Top Temperature), MCC (Mesoscale Convective Complex)
Nor’wester studies have a long history of climatological, synoptic and radar observations. These studies have been briefly mentioned and the field programs for the study of Nor’westers implemented in India Meteorological Department (IMD) from 1931-1941 have been touched upon. Indian atmospheric science community organized a multi-year STORM program during 2007-2010 to understand the formation of these severe local storms and also understand their dynamics through modeling. An attempt is made to use INSAT Infrared and Visible imageries to document the convective cells which developed over Eastern and North-East (NE) Indian states and adjoining countries of Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal for the year 2009. Also convective cells which organized themselves into Mesoscale Convective Complexes (MCCs) for the four years period 2007-2010 have been studied. It is found that by and large Eastern India (Jharkhand, Orissa, Sub Himalayan West Bengal and Bangladesh) is responsible for the initiation of convection. Development occurs as the cells propagate over the neighbouring areas of Bangladesh and NE India. Important observations with regard to initiation, maturity and dissipation etc. of the MCCs are provided. It is suggested that half hourly to hourly monitoring of convection can be accomplished by using INSAT imagery, along with multiple overlapping radar coverages, which could help in nowcasting of convective cells. Synoptic and thermodynamic forcing can help as broad guidance. The only effective way for effective warning is nowcasting using satellite and multiple radar coverage.
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