BENGALURU:With sudden cloudbursts becoming an almost daily routine, be prepared to protect yourself from golf ball-sized — or even larger — hailstones raining down on you. Experts said it is common for Bengaluru to have hail storms, especially this time of the year, although whenever it occurs, it causes excitement more than fear. But these can be harmful if larger hails target your heads. Meteorological experts have warned of frequent hailstorms in Bengaluru.
Although no serious injuries have been reported so far due to a hailstone-strike, experts have warned it could be too late to actually experience the harm it can cause. Falling hailstones in Bengaluru have been pictured and posted on social networking sites, some even the size of a brick.
According to Dr. M B Rajegowda, professor and head of agrometeorology, University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS), GKVK campus, the city is presently experiencing pre-monsoon showers. He explained that the accumulation of heat in the atmosphere gives rise to local convectional clouds which are said to be high in density. The accumulation of heat and rise in temperature causes a drop in atmospheric pressure, in turn, causing a mini cyclone-like condition specific to a region.
He explained the daytime variation of heat starts from the rise in temperature as the day progresses and reaches its peak by about 2 pm. Emissions from vehicles, collection of dust in the atmosphere and the release of Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) by air conditioners cause the water vapour to be formed in those clouds. The water molecules in those clouds combine and this results in a sudden drop in temperature to below zero degree Celsius, causing the water droplets to form into ice particles and falling in place of rain. The likelihood of hailstorms is higher in urban areas in contrast to rural areas as they are “heat islands”, due to faulty construction practices using more glass and radiative material, excessive use of exhaust-fuming vehicles, and tarred roads.
The city witnessed moderate rain accompanied by strong winds and thunderstorm in South and East Bengaluru on Monday evening. Traffic was disrupted on some arterial roads and several trees were uprooted in Domlur, BTM Layout, Koramangala, HSR Layout, New Tippasandra, Begur, Indiranagar, Wilson Garden, Vivek Nagar and Shivajinagar. The BBMP control room received 35 complaints from across the city. Over 15 complaints were about tree branches falling and the rest were of trees being uprooted.
Meanwhile, Domlur residents faced waterlogging and fire and emergency personnel rushed to the spot to clear the water. Two houses were damaged after two big trees fell on them in Wilson Garden and BTM Layout. No casualties were reported.