Peninsular India may get locusts after 46 years. Blame the wind

by Akshit Sangomla

Down To Earth | May 27, 2020

The winds blowing over India to the north of the Western Ghats have carried locusts to Madhya Pradesh. Photo: Ishan Kukreti / CSE
 The winds blowing over India to the north of the Western Ghats have carried locusts to Madhya Pradesh. Photo: Ishan Kukreti / CSE

Winds are the major carrier of desert locusts that are currently devastating crops and green areas in India’s northwest and central regions, experts have said.

“The winds that enter India to the north of the Western Ghats split into north-westerlies continuing towards central and northeastern India in one branch and towards the southeast in another branch,” Raghu Murtugudde, a climate scientist at the University of Maryland in the United States, told Down To Earth.

“This split is caused by a relative higher pressure ridge extending from Andhra and Tamil Nadu to Gujarat. So, the winds are going to the north and south of this pressure ridge. The locusts must have taken the southern branch of this split,” he added.Read More »