The India Meteorological Department (IMD) intends to make an in-depth study of the unusual phenomenon of hailstorm which struck parts of Ranga Reddy district on Tuesday (January 29). “A hailstorm of this intensity during winter has been recorded for the first time in Andhra Pradesh, and a lot of research will be taken up,” said M. Narasimha Rao, Assistant Meteorologist, IMD, Hyderabad.

Interestingly, he said there was another hailstorm at Nirmal the previous day but of low intensity and hence, did not come to public notice.

A full-fledged report on the hailstorms has been sent to the IMD headquarters in New Delhi. Mr. Rao explained that the hailstorm on January 29 was so intense that within 30 minutes, a one-and-half-feet-deep ice was deposited in agricultural fields in seven villages. “It was a local phenomenon and was active over five to six kilometres. The unusual weather event was due to formation of convective clouds,” IMD officials said. “Earlier, we used to term such phenomena as cloudburst. However, these days, we have replaced that term with intense convective activity. This involves formation of convective clouds resulting in extreme weather phenomena like the hailstorm,” explained Mr. Rao. The Meteorologist, who visited the villages on Friday, said that the hailstorm occurred between 8.30 p.m. and 9.30 p.m. “The hailstorm lasted for an hour, but the intensity was such that huge amounts of ice got deposited in the villages,” he added.

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