Rare tornado hits Assam; severe weather forecast for all of northeast
A low-intensity tornado hit Chenga district in Assam's Barpeta on Saturday. It is not a cyclone, the Met department has said

Guwahati: A tornado reportedly hit Assam’s Barpeta on Saturday, taking residents by surprise as they shared videos of the rare weather phenomenon on social media. Meanwhile, the meteorological department has forecast thunderstorms coupled with moderate to heavy rains over the next few days for the entire north-eastern region.

“A low-intensity tornado hit Chenga district in Assam’s Barpeta on Saturday. It is not a cyclone,” Dr Sanjay O’Neill Shaw, Deputy Director-General of Meteorology at the Regional Meteorological Centre in Guwahati, told EastMojo.

A tornado is a violently rotating column of air extending from the base of a thunderstorm down to the ground and is capable of completely destroying well-made structures, uprooting trees, and hurling objects through the air. While a tornado forms over land and is associated with severe thunderstorms, waterspouts form over water and could be the result of a severe thunderstorm, Shaw explained.

The tornado witnessed in Barpeta is believed to have started at a riverbank. No reports of damage were immediately available.

Meanwhile, an east-west trough extending from northwest Madhya Pradesh to Meghalaya, coupled with southwesterly winds blowing in from the Bay of Bengal, is expected to bring thunder and rainfall to Northeast India over the next five days, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has said.

Notably, all the north-eastern states have been continuously receiving on and off pre-monsoon rains since the beginning of April.

As per the weather forecast, scattered to fairly widespread rains of light to moderate intensity over Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura are expected over the next five days, with isolated thunderstorms and lightning.

Besides, isolated to scattered showers of light to moderate intensity are expected to continue over Sikkim for the next couple of days, with isolated thunderstorms, lightning and gusty winds (speed reaching 40-50 kmph).

In the wake of these forecasts, the IMD has placed a ‘yellow watch’, which is issued to urge individuals to be updated about the inclement weather, over Assam, Meghalaya, West Bengal, Sikkim, Jharkhand and Odisha.

Significantly, Assam and Meghalaya will retain the yellow alert till May 10.

Between March 1 and May 5, the states of Tripura and Mizoram experienced ‘deficient’ rainfall, while Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Manipur witnessed ‘normal’ rains. Meanwhile, Assam, Meghalaya and Sikkim have already experienced ‘excess’ rains by 26%, 41% and 34%, respectively.

 Also read: Climate change reshaped Earth with extreme weather this year

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