Pune’s NGO to Study Hailstorms

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PUNE: City-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) Centre for Citizen Science (CCS) and Baramati-based Environment Forum will conduct a scientific study of the hailstorms that affected several parts of Maharashtra. In the past two weeks, hailstorms and unseasonal rains in the state caused extensive damage to crops.

Based on the data collected so far, the NGOs have been able to conclude that the hailstorms occurred in a maximum of five-to-six-kilometre radius. “Only the crops in this region have been damaged. The entire district was not affected by the hailstorms, but the intensity in this small radius was immense. This was a common feature in all the three regions in Pune district that have been studied so far,” Mayuresh Prabhune of CCS said.

hailThe two groups, led by senior scientists and cloud expert Jeevanprakash Kulkarni, will look into the weather conditions at the time of the hailstorms and also study its impact. The NGOs aims to draw up a map of the hailstorms’ behaviour and its intensity.

The team will prepare a three-dimensional review of the event with the help of satellite images, radar readings and information collected at the ground level. The data will be procured from different agencies, including the India Meteorological Department.

“Technology that can measure hailstorms has not been developed yet. Our volunteers have set out for three regions in Pune district, including Indapur, Junnar and Baramati to document this unusual event. They will interview farmers and citizens in the affected areas,” Mayuresh Prabhune said.

While six of the 11 volunteers are studying the event via on-field observations and interviews, the rest are working on collecting data from various agencies and newspapers. “It is important to scientifically analyse hailstorms to be prepared in the future,” Kulkarni said.

The aim of this study is to find out what was the weather condition in the region when the hailstorms occurred, their intensity, nature, impact on nature and crops among other things.”

[The Times of India]

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