A preliminary study on pre-monsoon summer thunderstorms using ground-based total lightning data over Gangetic West Bengal


This paper presents the preliminary results of observation of total lightning characteristics of pre-monsoon thunderstorms of 2018 over Gangetic West Bengal around Kolkata. Mainly, the analysis results of total lightning associated with pre-monsoon moderate and severe thunderstorm events, locally known as Kalbaishakhi or Nor’wester, are presented. The total lightning data include both in-cloud and cloud-to-ground lightning flashes and are obtained from the Earth Networks Total Lightning Network. Most of the events were multi-cellular in nature as inferred from lightning data. The total lightning count over an area of 10 km radius around the wind sensors, increased rapidly about \(\sim \) 10–40 min before the onset of high wind on the surface. Primarily, total lightning count \(\ge 30\) per minute was found to be associated with the Nor’westers which produced maximum surface wind speed above 50 km/h.

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The authors thank the Earth Networks for providing the ENTLN data and for supporting the lightning sensor and weather station at our location. S. Pal would like to thank Dr. Michael Stock of Earth Networks for a fruitful discussion about ENTLN. S. Pal also acknowledges the support from the University Grants Commission (UGC) under the Dr. D.S. Kothari Fellowship Scheme (No. F.4-2/2006(BSR)/ES/17-18/0007 (S-74)).

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Midya, S.K., Pal, S., Dutta, R. et al. A preliminary study on pre-monsoon summer thunderstorms using ground-based total lightning data over Gangetic West Bengal. Indian J Phys 95, 1–9 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12648-020-01681-y

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  • Total lightning
  • Nor’wester
  • Thunderstorm
  • Cloud-to-ground (CG) and in-cloud (IC) lightning


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