What is Cloudburst? How It Happens? Langmuir Precipitation YouTube Lecture Handouts

Doorsteptutor material for competitive exams is prepared by world's top subject experts: get questions, notes, tests, video lectures and more- for all subjects of your exam.

What is Cloudburst? How It Happens? Langmuir Precipitation | Climatology | Meteorology | Geography

Misconception: Occurs Only in Mountainous Regions

  • The term “rainfall” is used to describe precipitation in the form of water drops of sizes larger than 0.5 mm.
  • No strict meteorological definition for cloudburst: Swedish weather service SMHI defines the corresponding Swedish term “skyfall” as 1 millimetre (0.039 in) per minute for short bursts and 50 millimetres (2.0 in) per hour for longer rainfalls. The associated convective cloud can extend up to a height of 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) above the ground

How Cloudburst Occurs?

  • Cumulonimbus cloud sucks up moisture. Water droplets grow larger and larger until they fall from cloud.
  • Single cloudburst can release upto 275000 tons of water leading to flash floods.
  • Cloudburst is basically a rainstorm and occurs mostly in the 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 condensation in the clouds as new drops form and old drops are pushed back into it by the updraft.
  • Moist thermodynamic instability & deep and rapid dynamic lifting by steep orography
  • Rapid precipitation from cumulonimbus clouds is possible due to the Langmuir precipitation process in which large droplets can grow rapidly by coagulating with smaller droplets which fall down slowly – drops fuse creating large drops as they as they fall and frowing further.

Things to Know

Things to Know
  • If these currents suddenly cease, the entire amount of water descends on to a small area with catastrophic force all of a sudden and causes mass destruction. This is due to a rapid condensation of the clouds.
  • They occur most often in desert and mountainous regions, and in interior regions of continental landmasses.
  • Accompanied by lightning, thunder and gush of winds
  • Wrong to say occurs only in areas of high mountains. Cloudbursts are especially common in mountainous areas. This is probably because the warm air currents of a thunderstorm tend to follow the upward slope of a mountain. The effects of heavy rain are especially striking on mountain slopes because the falling water is concentrated in valleys and gulleys. Mountain cloudbursts cause sudden and destructive floods. It is not essential that cloudbursts occur only when a cloud clashes with a solid body like a mountain, they can also occur when hot water vapor mingles into the cold resulting in sudden condensation.

Common in Monsoon Season in India

Common in Monsoon Season in India

Flash floods, high resolution numerical models are required

Commonly seen in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh

Clouds drift northwards from Bay of Bengal or Arabian Sea to Himalayan Region

  • On September 28,1908 - A Cloudburst resulted in a flood where the Musi River was swollen up to 38 - 45 m. About 15,000 people were killed and around 80,000 houses were destroyed along the banks of this river.
  • On August 17,1998 — A massive landslide following heavy rain and a cloudburst at Malpa village killed 250 people including 60 Kailash Mansarovar pilgrims in Kali valley of the Kumaon division, Uttarakhand. Among the dead was Odissi dancer Protima Bedi.
  • On 26 July 2005, A cloudburst caused approximately 950 millimetres (37 in) of rainfall in Mumbai. over a span of eight to ten hours; the deluge completely paralysed India՚s largest city and financial centre.
  • 2021- Cloudburst occurred in Dharamshala leading to massive flash floods. Manjhi river has been flooded after a reported rainfall of 3000 mm. Kishtwar Cloudburst