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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: The months of April and May are considered as lightning months in Odisha. Reflecting the trend, when yesterday (Monday) only 10 places witnessed moderate thunderstorm activities, on Tuesday the warning of light thunderstorm has been hoisted for a high of 20 places in the State.

How oft such thunderstorms are hitting Odisha is evident from the fact that when Bhubaneswar (Khurda district) witnessed a light thunderstorm in the afternoon hours of today, the latest forecast is there is an alert for light thunderstorm (wind speed below 41 km/hr) for Khurda town till 7PM today.

As per the alert, places like Baripada, Balasore, Bhadrak, Boudh, Bramhapur, Chandbali, Chilika, Dhenkanal, Gopalpur, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Keonjhargarh, Kendrapada, Khurda, Nabarangpur, Puri, Paradip, Phulbani, Paralakhemundi and Sundergarh may witness light thunderstorms today till 7PM in the evening. 

Meanwhile, a private forecaster Meteologix has included some more places like Aska in Ganjam and Turumnunga in Keonjhar, where there is a possibility of lightning activities in the evening today.

The warning issued predicts a light thunderstorm, which means the wind speed will be less than 41 km/hour and rainfall less than 5 mm. It further says the alert is valid till 7 PM evening today.

A glance at the data on lightning activities available with Meteologix, lightning activities today started in Odisha from 11 AM. And the places of strike were scattered in Jagatsinghpur district. The average duration of lightning is estimated there at only 5-10 minutes. The strike is categorised as cloud to ground.

A lightning bolt carries electric current in the range of 5kA (kilo Ampere) to 200 kA. The data shows the lightning today recorded in places of Jagatsinghpur carried a charge of 20kA, which is considered strong. Because, this is equivalent to 20,000 volts! (1 kilo Ampere = 0.001Volts)

In the noon, lightning struck Puri district, where the average duration has been 5-10 minutes and the electric charge measured higher at 23kA. Around the same time, places in Bhadrak district recorded lightning for a higher duration of 25-30 minutes. The electric charge was estimated at 21kA and is considered as strong lightning.

As far as the lightning in Bhubaneswar today is concerned, the average duration has been measured at around 20 minutes. It is a cloud to ground lightning and the intensity is measured at 20kA.

The bottomline: An analysis of the thunder storm alerts issued by IITM reveals that thunderstorm is predicted at 85 places in the country, including A&N islands, and the count of Odisha alone stood at 20. This shows nearly one-fourth of the lightning brunt is borne by Odisha. 

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