The Indian Seas have historically been the deadliest basin for the severe cyclones. Though, frequency of storms is generally more in Bay of Bengal, in comparison to Arabian Sea but severity takes almost equal toll on either side. Due to colder sea surface temperature, quite a few of storms in the Arabian Sea fizzle out while over deep waters.
The last stormy season for the Indian seas ended with three cyclonic storms, namely, Naunak, Hudhud and Nilofar. While Naunak and Nilofar came up in the Arabian Sea in the Pre Monsoon and Post Monsoon season respectively, cyclone Hudhud was the only cyclone of 2014 (07-14 Oct) in the Bay of Bengal. Also, cyclone Naunak and Nilofar weakened while over the sea and therefore did not cause any damage in terms of life and property. However, cyclone Hudhud was a very severe cyclonic storm with striking winds of 185 kmph and central pressure of 950hPa. It made a landfall near Visakhapatnam and affected a large area covering Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
More than 50% of the cyclonic disturbances (CDs) that form in the month of April and May intensify in to storms. A third of Bay CDs and half the number of the Arabian Sea CDs intensify in to cyclones.
APRIL - Most of the Bay storms in this month originate over south and adjoining southeast Bay of Bengal. They initially move to the northwest or north and later recurve towards northeast and strike Myanmar coast. The general direction of movement of storms in the Arabian Sea is similar to that of Bay storms. After recurving, they move northeastward and threaten Gujarat coast.
MAY - There is an appreciable increase in the frequency of storms from April to May. Most of the Bay storms originate between 10˚and 15˚N, move initially north or northwestward and then recurve towards the northeast. The whole of east coast of India and the coastal areas of Bangladesh and Arakan coast of Myanmar are liable to incidence of storms in this month. A number of them are of severe intensity. In the Arabian Sea, the storms move northwestward towards the coast of Arabia. A few of them move north and later northeast to cross Maharashtra- Gujarat coast.
The next storm in the Indian seas, as and when it forms, will be named PRIYA. The weather radars along the coastline on either side need to remain operational and work to their potential. These are the savior and instrumental for disaster mitigation and management.