Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh says, lightning activity have shown increasing trend over India in past two decades

New Delhi: Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh today informed the Lok Sabha that mobile app called “Damini” lightning app has been developed to monitor lightning activities in the skies.

In reply to a question, the Minister further elaborated that the lightning activities have shown an increasing trend all over India and the purpose of this app is to monitor all lightning activities, specifically for India and alerts the person if lightning is happening near the person by GPS notification, in the distance under 20 kms and 40 kms radius. Detailed description of instructions and precautions is provided in the app, while in the lightning prone area.

As per recent studies, parts of Indian peninsula, particularly Northeast and East, have registered a sharp increase of lighting over the past two decades. The increase is minimal over Central India and moderate over the rest of the country.

Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, an autonomous research and development institution under the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), has established a lightning location network strategically installed at 83 places in the country to detect and locate lightning strikes with utmost accuracy. Central processor of this network, located at IITM, receives and processes the signal received from the network and identifies the location of lightning strikes with less than 500 m accuracy. The output from this network is shared with India Meteorological Department (IMD) and various State Government and is used for nowcasting purposes.

From the National Weather Forecasting Centre, these forecasts and warnings are given in meteorological sub-divisional scale whereas State Meteorological Centres issue the same in district level. In addition to that, thunderstorms and associated disastrous weather phenomena are covered by nowcast (forecast for next 3 hours issued every 3 hours) in the location/district level by State Meteorological Centres. At present this facility is extended to all the districts and for about 1084 stations across the country.