The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) is in talks with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and it has requested the latter to install lightning detectors on its geosynchronous satellites. This will help enhance the monitoring of lightning and thunderstorm events over the Indian region.
Speaking during a webinar ‘Thunderstorms and Lightning’, jointly organised by the National Institute of Disaster Management, Ministry of Home Affairs, and India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday, MoES Secretary M Rajeevan said, “Even though we have a good network to monitor thunderstorm and lightning, it can be further improved with the help of satellite information. We are presently in talks with ISRO. If all goes well, then within the next one year, there would be geosynchronous satellites mounted with lightning sensors, which will provide continuous observations, thereby helping improve thunderstorm tracking.”
Over 200 deaths caused by lightning strikes have been reported in the last two months from Bihar and east Uttar Pradesh. Most of the victims were farm labourers involved in kharif sowing since it is the beginning of monsoon season. Usually, the period between June and September sees the highest number of lightning and thunderstorm events along the east and northeast regions of India, said experts at IMD.