The wind blows due to uneven heating of Earth. This is useful as it is used as a form of energy. Rain is also caused due to moisture-laden monsoon winds. Rainfall is much awaited by farmers as they mainly depend on it for their crops. But do rain and winds always bring happy situations? No. Thunderstorms and cyclones can be caused due to excessive rain and heavy winds, which bring a lot of destruction of property and life. Let us know more!
A thunderstorm is a storm accompanied by lightning and Thunder. Formation of thunderstorm needs:
- Moisture: Moisture required to form clouds and eventually rain.
- Front: Front like sea breeze or mountains that help in lifting the warm air upwards.
- Rapidly rising warm air: Due to Sun’s heat, the temperature of place rises. The rise in temperature warms the air and create strong winds which arise in the upward direction.
Cause of Thunderstorms
Thunderstorms develop in hot and humid areas like India. The rising temperature produces strong upward rising winds. These winds carry water droplets upwards where they freeze and fall again. The swift movement of the falling water droplets along with the rising air create lightning and sound. This is a thunderstorm. Thunderstorms are dangerous. Lightning kills many people and causes damage to forest and tall structures.
Precautions to be Taken During a Thunderstorm
If you’re outside:
- Avoid taking shelter under tall trees or tall Towers.
- Try to get into a car or a bus or take shelter inside a building.
- Stay away from water bodies.
If you are inside:
- Close the windows and doors tightly.
- Do not touch electrical equipment or telephone.
- Listen to battery-operated radio for latest information
Cyclones are violent Storms with an intense spiral and accompanied by strong winds and heavy rains. They are caused due to strong winds blowing around the central area having low atmospheric pressure.
Causes of cyclones
As we know that when water vaporizes, it absorbs heat from the surroundings. Water vapor rises in the atmosphere where it cools down. When water vapor changes back into liquid the heat is released into the atmosphere. This warms the air around it.
The warm air tends to rise and causes a drop in the pressure. The air moves from surrounding high-pressure areas to the central low-pressure area. This cycle is repeated. The chain of events leads to the formation of very low-pressure system surrounded by with very high-speed winds. This weather condition is a cyclone.
Factors Affecting Cyclone
Factors like wind speed, wind direction, temperature, and humidity contribute to the development of a cyclone. The center of the cyclone is a cloudless calm area this is called the eye. In this area, winds are not very strong and there is no rainfall. But the winds around the eye have very high speed up to 200 km per hour.
Destruction Caused By Cyclones
- Trees, buildings etc collapse due to strong wind killing many people.
- Storm surges are Strong winds push water towards a shore. The low-pressure area in the eye lifts water surface in the center which as high as 3 to 12 m. It appears like a water wall moving towards a shore. As a result, water enters the low coastal areas and causes severe loss of life and property.
- Cyclones may also cause prolonged heavy rains. This may lead to floods causing heavy losses. Water becomes contaminated and people may suffer from various water-borne diseases.
- It may block the rail and road transport system as well as telephones and other communication systems.
Tornado is a violent dark funnel-shaped cloud extended from a thunderstorm that reaches the Ground from the sky. A tornado can cause great damage to life and property. Violent tornado can have the speed of about 400 km per hour
Effective Measures to Prevent Cyclone Disaster
- Construction of storm shelters.
- Connecting roads for evacuating people to safer areas.
- Generating public awareness about the measures that can be taken by the people to avoid damage.
- Advanced technology like satellite and Radar cyclone alert gives updated information in advance of any expected storm and cyclone.
Question For You
Q1. Why is Chandigarh unlikely to be affected by a cyclone?
Ans: As it is not near to the sea/ocean.
Q2. Why is it advisable not to shut all the doors and windows during a storm?
Ans: To avoid the roof getting blown away due to the low pressure created by heavy wind.