Cloudburst: Why in News?

There have been massive flash floods in Dharmashala after a cloudburst occured there. Manjhi river has been flooded after a reported rainfall of 3000 mm

What is Cloudburst?

It is an extreme amount of precipitation in a short period of 1/6
time to a small geographical area. Meteorologists say the rain from a cloudburst is usually of the shower type with a fall rate equal to or greater than 100 mm (4.94 inches) per hour.

How does a cloudburst occur?

Cloudburst is basically a rainstorm and occurs mostly in the 2/6
desert and mountainous regions, and in interior regions of continental landmasses due to the warm air current from the ground or below the clouds rushes up and carries the falling raindrops up with it. The rain fails to fall down in a steady shower, which causes excessive 3/6
condensation in the clouds as new drops form and old drops are pushed back into it by the updraft.

How is cloudburst different from rainfall?

Rain is condensed water falling from a cloud while cloudburst is a sudden heavy rainstorm. A report in the Down to Earth said a 4/6
cloudburst is different from rain only in the amount of rainfall recorded. Rain over 100mm per hour is categorised as a cloudburst.

Hence, we can say the cloudburst is natural phenomena, but occur quite unexpectedly, very abruptly, and rather drenching. In the Indian 5/6
Subcontinent, it is generally occurs when a monsoon cloud drifts northwards, from the Bay of Bengal or Arabian Sea across the plains then on to the Himalaya that sometimes brings 75 millimetres rain per hour. 6/6

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