Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Moradabad hailstorm (1888) - world's worst hailstorm disaster

Formation of hail.   Another simple cross section of a hail cloud www.goodsitesforkids.org
Hailstones-It's difficult to imagine how hailstones of such size and shape could be formed by pure thermodynamic processes in a cloud.www.thunderbolts.info
The  hail  has its origin in thunder storm in our atmosphere - cumulonimbus clouds  and it  reaches the ground as a hailstorm, producing hailstones  of varying  diameter from 5 millimeters (0.20 in) to 15 centimeters (6 in) and weigh more than 0.5 kilograms (1.1 lb). When the atmospheric condition favors  strong, upward motion of air or updraft of air in the parent thunderstorm clouds with high water content, great vertical extent and  freezing point  - below freezing 0 °C (32 °F) at lower altitude, as in the formation of twisters or tornadoes that require  strong updrafts, it will be conducive to the formation of hailstorms.
Severe thunderstorms containing hail can exhibit a characteristic green coloration.enwikipedia.org
You will be surprised to know the  world's worst hailstorm disaster on account of  bizarre and extreme weather anomalies over the present state of  Uttar Pradesh occurred in April of 1888 at Moradabad during the British Raj under the English Crown. The Guinness World Records list the Moradabad hailstorm as  the Moradabad hailstorm as the world's worst hailstorm disaster in history. The hailstorm left behind a trail of of immense destruction and disaster, extensive loss of livestocks - more than 1600, badly damaged homes, huts, etc besides worst human tragedy - 246 people were killed and scores of people severely injured. Sixteen others died in the nearby Bareilly.  The Nature's fury was hell-bent on Moradabad, the hailstones started falling from the sky on Tuesday night and covered the entire villages under the snow-like blanket. The whole area was literally battered by the high velocity hailstones as if the hell-gate in the upper world was wide open to relieve them. People reported hailstones varying in size from pigeon’s eggs to the size of oranges and the big ones falling  at speeds exceeding 100 mph. You can very well imagine what kind of impact such high velocity falling solid objects will cause.There was an accumulation hail up to two feet, once the storm was over.

Tit bits:
 01.One of the earliest recorded incidents occurred around the 9th century in Roopkund, Uttarakhand, India.

 02.Heaviest: 1.0 kg (2.25 lb); Gopalganj District, Bangladesh, 14 April 1986.

 03.Largest circumference officially measured: 18.75 inches (47.6 cm) circumference, 7.0 inches (18 cm) diameter;