Earth Networks Releases 2020 India Lightning Report, Reveals 22.6% Increase In Lightning In India Compared To 2019

Karnataka and Maharashtra are amongst the top 10 Indian states with the highest lightning pulse counts during 2020

Planet Outlook
July 25, 2021
Earth Networks Releases 2020 India Lightning Report, Reveals 22.6% Increase In Lightning In India Compared To 2019

Earth Networks, the nationwide lightning detection network in India, released its 2020 India Lightning Report. For all of 2020, Earth Networks’ Total Lightning Network detected 39,549,444 lightning pulses in India, of which 12,022,402 were dangerous cloud-to-ground strikes. The top 5 states with the most lightning last year were Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal, and Odisha.  Over 39.5 million pulses were detected in India last year by the company’s Total Lightning Network. Most lightning pulses are in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal, and Karnataka. Explore the interactive map of Indian lightning data by state.

Earth Networks Total Lightning Network is the most extensive and technologically advanced lightning network in the world. Its ability to monitor both cloud-to-ground and in-cloud lightning in near real-time enable faster-localized storm alerts which include location, coverage, intensity, trends, and warnings of other forms of severe weather.

In 2020, India saw the highest concentration of lightning in May, June, and September because of the monsoon season. In 2020, although the rainfall average across India reached 109% (just 1% less than the 2019 average of 110%), lightning increased by 22.6% compared to 2019.

Severe weather and the dangers of lightning pose a great threat to the Indian population. India experiences extreme amounts of heat and moisture due to the country’s proximity to the equator and the Indian Ocean, contributing to severe and sudden thunderstorms throughout South Asia. According to a study by the National Crime Records Bureau, since 2001, 2,360 people die in India every year due to lightning.


Building Resilience to Severe Weather

With the Indian Monsoon now fully advanced, the country has experienced tragic deaths due to severe weather within the past few weeks. It is Earth Networks’ mission to enable a safer, more prosperous world through the dissemination of early warnings for natural disasters such as thunderstorms, flooding, and severe storms. The company offers comprehensive visualization and alerting tools that enable India’s disaster management agencies to issue automatic warnings and estimate storm arrival times to help save lives and reduce property damage. Currently, Earth Networks works with various central and state agencies, universities, and private industry sectors across India.

Governmental agencies such as the Indian Armed Forces, Ministry of Earth Sciences, and NESAC collaborate with Earth Networks’ lightning sensors and their data and analytics to increase their preparations for severe weather.

“The Earth Networks Total Lightning Network is a vital component to keeping the population of India aware and prepared for severe weather events,” said Kumar Margasahayam, Regional Manager of Asia at Earth Networks. “India is extremely susceptible to severe weather events, and our ability to predict and warn citizens of severe weather up to 45 minutes before it arrives helps saves lives and protect property.”

With climate change and rising temperatures, the incidence of severe thunderstorms will only increase. Effective early warning systems coupled with effective action plans to save lives are key to keeping communities safe. Action plans need to consider the dissemination of alerts in a timely manner and ensure that everyone is receiving them. One of the most important roles that Disaster Management agencies and NGOs can play is in imparting education to even the most remote villages, so people understand what actions need to be taken when they receive alerts or warnings.