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Study of thermodynamic indices in forecasting pre-monsoon thunderstorms over Kolkata during STORM pilot phase 2006-2008

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date03/2011
JournalNatural Hazards
Journal number3
Volume56
Number of pages18
Pages681-698
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The pre-monsoon convective atmosphere over Kolkata (22.52°N, 88.37°E) during STORM field phase 2006–2008 is investigated using 12 UTC radiosonde data and thermodynamic indices. In the present study, an attempt has been made to assess the skill of various indices and parameters and to propose suitable threshold values in forecasting the occurrence of thunderstorm activity at Kolkata. The thermodynamic indices and parameters used in the present study are lifted index (LI), K index (KI), severe weather threat index (SWEAT), total totals index (TTI), convective available potential energy (CAPE), deep convection index (DCI), humidity index (HI), Boyden index (BI), dew point temperature at 850 hpa (DEW), relative humidity at 700 hpa (RH), and bulk Richardson number (BRN). Validation of the suggested threshold values of indices was conducted on the days of thunderstorm activity. It was found that one index alone cannot predict the occurrence of thunderstorm over Kolkata region. The present study suggests that the indices with highest skill for thunderstorm prediction are KI, DCI, SWEAT, DEW, HI, RH, LI, TTI, while the prediction efficiency is poor for CAPE, BRN, and BI. Observed values of these indices also reveal that scattered, multi-cellular thunderstorms are possible over Kolkata during pre-monsoon months.