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Cyclone Sitrang Poised To Strike East Coast : May Spare Tamil Nadu And Andhra Pradesh

October 20, 2022 1:40 PM |

Potential cyclonic storm ‘ Sitrang’ has crossed the first hurdle. Low pressure area has developed over North Andaman Sea and Southeast Bay of Bengal (BoB).  Its intensification in a phased manner is likely over the next 3 days to a depression, deep depression and finally cyclonic storm by late Saturday or Sunday. Ongoing consolidation and reorganization of this weather system under favorable environmental conditions will help churning the 1st tropical storm of the past monsoon season. Also, the storm will find a long sea travel as it moves northwest, crossing various stages of intensification.

The Bay of Bengal looks conveniently poised to throw up 2nd cyclone of this year, the first one being ‘Asani’ of pre monsoon season, in May 2022.  Central parts of BoB will host the cyclone which thereafter heads for the coastline. There is enough heat potential over the ocean surface, the sea surface temperature being in excess of 29°C. Wind shear also not spoiling growth and sustenance. Accordingly, Sitrang stands a chance to become severe before breaching the east coast.

There is no consensus among the numerical models for track and intensity of the storm. The entire east coast from Tamil Nadu to West Bengal and Bangladesh, across Andhra Pradesh and Odisha stay vulnerable. Precision forecast  about trajectory, timelines and intensity may have to wait for another 48hr, till it turns in to a depression/ deep depression. Cyclone fields get aligned more accurately after this stage.

Initial indicators suggest the storm sparing Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.  Climatology, supported by few model outputs, favors recurvature of the storm, once positioned over West- Central BoB, off Andhra Pradesh coast. Deep westerly trough in the higher levels and position of Sub Tropical High ( STH- Anticyclone) over BoB is expected to steer the storm, parallel to the coastline of Andhra Pradesh. Geographical Northeast-Southwest orientation of coastline may not allow the storm to skip landfall. The storm is expected to come closest to Odisha coast, followed by West Bengal. Recurvature of the cyclone will slow it down while it moves along the arc, off Andhra Pradesh and Odisha Coast. The longer it brushes the coastline, more of dry air entrainment is likely. This may not allow the cyclone to attain any catastrophic dimension and rather keep struggling to retain its intensity of severe/ very severe storm till landfall. Storm needs to be closely watched for further developments over the next 72hr.

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