Cloudbursts in Amarnath

UPSC Current affairs - Cloudbursts in Amarnath

Cloudbursts in Amarnath


  • Highly-localized rains produced flooding in Amarnath, Jammu and Kashmir, which resulted in at least 16 fatalities and more than 20 injuries. Those who perished were at a camp close to the cave, a revered location.


  • A cloudburst is defined as an intense downpour that lasts only a brief time and is occasionally accompanied by hail and thunder. It is defined by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) as unexpected precipitation that exceeds 100mm (or 10 cm) per hour across a region of land that is between 20 and 30 square kilometres. Floods may occur in the event of such significant rainfall.
  • Basically, all instances of cloudbursts involve heavy rain in a short period, but all instances of heavy rain in a short period are not cloudbursts if they do not fit this criterion.

Vulnerable region:

  • There is little concrete information on the precise amount of cloudbursts that occur in India, according to experts, and it is challenging to anticipate when they will occur.
  • However, due to the geography and altitude, they are more likely to appear in mountainous areas.
    This is because the upward migration of the extremely warm stream of air prevents some saturated clouds that are ready to condense into rain from producing rain in mountainous places.
  • Raindrops are transported aloft by the air stream and do not fall downhill. Existing droplets enlarge and new raindrops are created.
  • After a while, the cloud can no longer support the rains, and they all fall to the ground at once in a sudden flash.

     Source The Hindu