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  1. Abstract

    This study aims to (i) prepare a premonsoon thunderstorms database, (ii) understand the thunderstorm frequency, duration and intensity and (iii) composite analysis of dynamic and thermodynamic processes related to thunderstorms over India. The thunderstorm associated rainfall varies across India. Hence, a percentile‐based approach is implemented with the integrated multi‐satellite retrievals for global precipitation measurement (IMERG) dataset at 0.1° resolution to identify thunderstorms for 2001–2021. The 93rd percentile appears to be better for thunderstorm detection, with a success ratio of 82% (642 events are confirmed out of 786 detected) in eastern India. Further analysis indicated that 84% of the detected thunderstorms in eastern and northeastern India are associated with lightning activity. Based on this long‐term (2001–2021) thunderstorm data, the highest frequency of thunderstorms (40–45 events·year−1) is observed over the western foothills of the Himalayas, the northeast region, and the west coast of Kerala. The thunderstorm duration in the eastern and northeastern regions and the southwest coast of India is mostly 0.5–2.5 h, producing heavy rainfall (>7 mm·h−1) due to more moisture content and stronger updrafts. The composite structure of thermodynamic indices exhibits significant spatial variations over India and can be used to differentiate the regions of high thunderstorm activity. The minimum (maximum) convective available potential energy (convective inhibition) value required for thunderstorm development is not uniform throughout the country. However, the composites of K index and total totals index during thunderstorms are mostly uniform. This study highlights the benefits of IMERG rainfall in thunderstorm detection over India and helps to understand the local forcings and the effect of thunderstorm activity on different sectors like aviation, agriculture and so forth.

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