The APDSMA recorded such an overwhelming number of lightning strikes within a short span that the authorities termed it ‘unusual’.

Thousands of lightning strikes in 24 hours Disaster dept alerts AP govt over thunderstormsImage for representation
news Weather Thursday, May 03, 2018 - 19:10

District officials in Guntur, Prakasam, Krishna and Nellore were kept on their toes on Thursday after the Andhra Pradesh State Disaster Management Authority (APSDMA) alerted them over ‘heavy thunderstorm activity’ expected in the four districts.

The APDSMA recorded such an overwhelming number of lightning strikes within a short span that the authorities termed it ‘unusual’. Fearing that the numbers could spread panic, the authorities refused to share the data related to the strikes.

According to a report in The Hans India, the APDSMA has recorded 41,025 lightning strikes in the last 24 hours in 11 districts in the state, mostly in coastal places such as Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam. Last week on Tuesday, the department had recorded 36,749 lightning strikes within a span of 13 hours, according to the BBC.

An official from the APSDMA said, “We have alerted the MROs and other officials to minimise the damage that is expected to take place in Guntur, Prakasam, Krishna and Nellore. It is unusual for such thunderstorms to occur during April and May.”

However, scientists from the Indian Meteorological Department have said that thunderstorms of such severity during summers is quite common.

“Thunderstorm activity will be high only during the summer, not during monsoons,” said IMD scientist M Raja Rao. “There will be thunderstorm activity during monsoons but not with such intensity.”

“Due to moisture in the coastal districts and the soaring temperatures, clouds are formed causing thunderstorms,” Raja explained.

The weather department has already issued a weather warning for the next two days.

The department has forecast that heavy rain is likely to occur in isolated places in all the districts of coastal Andhra Pradesh. “Thunderstorms accompanied by gusty winds are very likely to occur at isolated places in coastal districts and Rayalaseema,” the department warned.

Due to the thunderstorm activity, the coastal districts recorded less than 38 degrees of maximum temperature on Thursday.

Visakhapatnam recorded the highest rainfall of 9 cm, followed by Vizianagaram and Amalapuram at 8 cm. Vepada, Bobbiili, Srungavarapukota and Velairpad recorded the lowest rainfall at 1 cm. 

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