Babu ChunderSikur Chatterjee : Tornado Dynamics – UPSC GS1

 Babu ChunderSikur Chatterjee’s paper was the earliest record of a tornado’s dynamics in the history of meteorology.
What is a Tornado?
  • A tornado is a rapidly rotating column of air that is in contact with both the surface of the Earth and a cumulonimbus cloud or, in rare cases, the base of a cumulus cloud.
  • The windstorm is often referred to as a twister, whirlwind or cyclone winds blow counter clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern.
  • Tornadoes come in many shapes and sizes, and they are often visible in the form of a condensation funnel originating from the base of a cumulonimbus cloud, with a cloud of rotating debris and dust beneath it.
  • It is generally accompanied by extreme weather such as heavy downpours, hail storms, and lightning.
Who was Babu ChunderSikur Chatterjee?
  • Chatterjee was an Indian scientist employed with the Surveyor General of India during the British colonial era.
  • He was likely the first person to scientifically document a tornado’s path in 1865, a study from the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, has claimed.
  • Chatterjee had published his findings in a journal named Proceedings of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, in a paper titled ‘Note on a whirlwind at Pundooah’, near Hooghly.
  • The paper described a tornado’s dynamics in meticulous detail and was accompanied by a sketch that mathematically depicted its scale, track and rotation.
His work
  •  Chatterjee quantitatively mapped the entire trail of á tornado’s destruction.
  • He benefited from the rare opportunity to observe a tornado passing through a railway track where there were conveniently placed markers at predefined locations.
  • This enabled him to observe and make clear measurements of the tornado’s direction, dynamics and path.
Scroll to Top