Cloudburst is the most powerful hurricane that can strike an area in a very short period of time. When an area receives 100-millimeters or more of rain per hour, it is called a cloudburst.
Cumulonimbus clouds, the largest of the clouds, cause cloudbursts. Clouds are formed when a stream of moist air (vapor) rises from the earth’s surface and condenses above the atmosphere. Thus, the clouds that form may contain millions of gallons of water. Precipitation is the process by which the vapor inside the cloud condenses and forms some form of ice, water, or rain.
When cumulonimbus clouds form, they start at the bottom of the atmosphere and reach a “serous zone” at an altitude of 13 to 15 km. These are white, like large clouds
It looks like a sack that encloses with a drawstring. When the sun rises, these clouds look as white as cotton.
Temperatures above 10-km of the Earth’s atmosphere range from -40 to -60 degrees Celsius. We have learned that water turns to ice at zero degrees Celsius. The temperature in the “freezer” inside the fridge is only -15 to -18 degrees Celsius. It is about three times colder than 10-km above ground level. A typical Cumulonimbus cloud can be 24 km in diameter and 10 km high .. !!!
Cumulonimbus, which causes cloudbursts, forms a “circular cycle” of very strong air currents inside the cloud. This airflow rises through the center of the cloud. Thus the water droplets at the bottom are elevated 10 to 15 km. This upward flow of air is called the updraft, and the downward flow of air through the sides of the cloud is called the downdraft.
Water particles (vapors) that rise more than 10 km through the center of the cloud turn into ice particles as they enter the “extreme cold”. As the intensity of the air flow from below decreases, the ice particles fall down under gravity, and the smaller ice particles combine to form larger ice crystals. Thus, the heavier ice crystals melt faster than the Earth’s surface, and as the atmospheric temperature approaches, the ice crystals melt and become “large raindrops”. These are falling to the ground as a very powerful torrent .. !!!
A cloudburst in Uttarakhand in 1998 killed at least 250 people. Let’s see how cloudburst can be so destructive.
Cloudbursts on sloping hills above 22 degrees cause landslides and flooding ..! The settlements in the valley may be wiped out following the landslide. Subsequent floods and landslides inundate low-lying areas, disrupting transportation and causing damage to homes and businesses .. !!
The extent of the disaster will depend on the structure of the cloudburst, the nature of the rocks and soil, the specificity of the trees, the slope of the mountains and the density of the valleys .. !!