Storms kill more in 5 weeks than all of 2017 -Amit Bhattacharya

-The Times of India

NEW DELHI: Storms across the country have killed more people since April 11 than all of last year. Since Sunday, thunderstorms claimed 94 lives across six states, taking the death toll in storms since April to 278.

Fatalities in the first two weeks of May stand at 223, while 55 people died in April. Last year, storms claimed 197 lives, while the toll in 2016 was 216. The figures are based on numbers collated by TOI and those provided by the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

Met department scientists said the storms in north India in the past five weeks were unusual both in number and severity.

The current pattern of wind currents resembles what's usually seen in winter months.

Outside of the monsoon season, rain and storm activity in north India take place under the influence of western disturbances, waves of air currents coming in from the Mediterranean. "We are seeing the winter pattern of western disturbances in summer this year. Ten western disturbances have affected north India in April-May, while it is usually three-four," said M Mohapatra, director general (meteorology), IMD.

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The Times of India, 15 May, 2018,

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