Writing is like T20 batting. If you block, you might as well retire to the pavilion! -- Pete Langman
Expat in Germany

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

"Hail" the Storm!

"Yesterday, as we were trying to write a program on Matlab in our lab, we heard stone pelting sounds. We ran outside to see hailstones falling. This is my third hail storm!!", said a student of my university excitedly. Well, I did not miss it too. 'If not now, then when' is the motto and here I am, suffering from cold and severe head ache. Anyway, it was a very nice experience, hail hitting on us and we hitting on others!! And....hostel room being flooded!!
Hail Stones 

Actually, one of my friends asked, "Why do these hail storms occur only in summer?" Well, they do not occur only in summer (by the way, it is not summer yet!) but summer heat gives a boost. That is all. Basically, every thunderstorm cumulonimbus cloud brings with it ice pieces, but these melt before they reach us. But the hail storm goes much higher and thick ice stones form and fall. A hot surface would only boost it because air near the surface gets hotter and more wind and the clouds get better push towards the hail forming region. As a matter of fact, hail storms are really dangerous(of course!, the very reason enough to play in hailstorm!) and create a lot of damage to crops. Silver Iodide cannons and missiles are developed to tackle this issue. By the way, these are not part of those generally occurring Mango Showers. These are something else. Actually, there is a depression in the South Pacific!

This on one side. The other thing is that we are awaiting a drought. Yes, I typed it right. A drought only. It might be not so joyous to hear that a storm brings a drought with it. According to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and some other research institutes, an El Nino is 75% likely to occur this year, bringing along with it, a drought in India, Australia and parts of Africa. It seems in India, it had occurred last in 2009 leaving damages never seen in the last 40 years. Since one of the results of El Nino is rise in surface pressure in Indian Ocean and subsequent spread of warm water from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific carrying the rains with it, we can be sure of a drought in India. For a country which looks towards the skies to grow crops, this is a devastating news. By the way, El Nino is the other word for Baby Jesus since it generally occurs during the time of Christmas!
El Nino

A publication in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences, USA gave a very early warning of El Nino this year. For once, let us believe Remote Sensing and not New Year predictions and do all we can to save ourselves from a possible disaster. First let it be started off with better storage of food grains by the Food Corporation of India (heyy...I am not joking, it should be done!!)