Natural Hazards

, Volume 56, Issue 3, pp 681–698 | Cite as

Study of thermodynamic indices in forecasting pre-monsoon thunderstorms over Kolkata during STORM pilot phase 2006–2008

  • Bhishma Tyagi
  • V. Naresh Krishna
  • A. N. V. Satyanarayana
Original Paper


The pre-monsoon convective atmosphere over Kolkata (22.52°N, 88.37°E) during STORM field phase 2006–2008 is investigated using 12 UTC radiosonde data and thermodynamic indices. In the present study, an attempt has been made to assess the skill of various indices and parameters and to propose suitable threshold values in forecasting the occurrence of thunderstorm activity at Kolkata. The thermodynamic indices and parameters used in the present study are lifted index (LI), K index (KI), severe weather threat index (SWEAT), total totals index (TTI), convective available potential energy (CAPE), deep convection index (DCI), humidity index (HI), Boyden index (BI), dew point temperature at 850 hpa (DEW), relative humidity at 700 hpa (RH), and bulk Richardson number (BRN). Validation of the suggested threshold values of indices was conducted on the days of thunderstorm activity. It was found that one index alone cannot predict the occurrence of thunderstorm over Kolkata region. The present study suggests that the indices with highest skill for thunderstorm prediction are KI, DCI, SWEAT, DEW, HI, RH, LI, TTI, while the prediction efficiency is poor for CAPE, BRN, and BI. Observed values of these indices also reveal that scattered, multi-cellular thunderstorms are possible over Kolkata during pre-monsoon months.


Thermodynamic indices Thunderstorms Skill scores 



This work supported by Department of Science and Technology (DST), Govt. of India under grant no. ES/48/STORM/011/2006 is gratefully acknowledged. We are thankful to the Department of Science, University of Wyoming for providing Radiosonde data over Kolkata during pre-monsoon months of 2006–2008 through web link. We are thankful to Mr. D. Pradhan, Director (Cyclone Detection Radar), India Meteorological Department, Kolkata, for providing the radar imageries and information about thunderstorm timings. Mr Bhishma Tyagi would like to acknowledge Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, for providing fellowship for conducting research. Mr V. Naresh Krishna would like to acknowledge the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) for the funding of his research work. We are thankful to anonymous reviewers for their constructive suggestions in improving the quality of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bhishma Tyagi
    • 1
  • V. Naresh Krishna
    • 1
  • A. N. V. Satyanarayana
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Oceans, Rivers, Atmosphere and Land Sciences, Indian Institute of TechnologyKharagpurIndia

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