1. According to South Asia lightning Report ,2020 by Earth Networks, a global weather intelligence agency –West Bengal received the highest number of lightning strikes per square kilometer in 2020, followed by Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh,Tamil Nadu.
2. Overall, 57 million lightning strikes were recorded in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka together. Around one-fourth of them were cloud-to-ground strikes and the rest were intra-cloud.
3. West Bengal, along with Bangladesh, received two million lightning bolts on ground — above 8 lightning strikes per square kilometer on average during last year.
India received most strikes
1. India receives a whopping 70 per cent of the total number in the South Asia region.
2. India received nearly 89 per cent of all the lethal cloud-to-ground strikes in the world.
3. India suffered 1,697 deaths due to lightning in 2020, according to a report prepared jointly by the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences, Indian Meteorological Department and Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, among others. During the last decade (2011-20), India recorded a total of 2,600 deaths a year on an average.
Link with climate change
1. Climate change, particularly warming, is contributing considerably to the rise of lightning strikes, as it enhances both heat and moisture, the key components required for lightning
2. All these heat waves cater to more thunderstorms, which, in turn trigger more lightning strikes. Bengal delta has been traditionally affected by the lightning strikes mainly during kalbaishakhi winds (norwesters). But the number has increased in recent years
3. The Bengal delta, encompassing the Indian state of West Bengal and Bangladesh, is one of the most vulnerable regions for climatic impacts, with high sea-surface water temperatures and cyclones