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End of cyclone season for India

December 29, 2020 8:11 PM |

Cyclones in India

Cyclone season for India ended on a positive note and no more cyclones are expected to ravage our coastline this season. Year 2020 ended up as a normal season churning total of 5 tropical cyclones with intensity varying from cyclonic storm to super cyclonic storm. Though there are no official bounds as such for cyclones to form in the Indian Seas but predominantly the cyclone season runs from March to June and from October to December. The post monsoon season from October-December is generally more active than the pre-monsoon season from March-June. Also Bay of Bengal is a more active basin than Arabian Sea, both in terms of frequency and intensity of cyclones. However storms are known for their truant behavior and non-compliance to these norms is seen on few occasion.

Blame it on climate change, there has been large variation witnessed in the oceans across the globe. While year 2020 was record active season for the Atlantic Ocean with 30 storms including 7 hurricane, the West Pacific otherwise known as the most active basin was a little dormant recording only 23 named storms including 10 typhoon and 2 super typhoon. Surprisingly there was no cyclone over West Pacific in July 2020, the first such occurrence since reliable records began.

Indian seas witnessed 5 tropical cyclones: 3 over Bay of Bengal and 2 in the Arabian Sea. The opener cyclone Amphan became a super cyclonic storm during its life period between 16th May to 20th May. Amphan made landfall at Bakkhali in West Bengal with raging wind speed of 240kmh. This marked 2nd year in a row featuring super cyclone in the Indian Seas. Before this super cyclone Kyarr had formed over the Arabian Sea in 2019 which headed for Somalia.

Amphan was followed by Severe Cyclonic Storm Nisarga between 01st June to 04th June. The storm made landfall near Alibag (Konkan - Maharashtra) with a peak wind speed of 110kmh. This was an outlier in the history of storms as they seldom visit this area.

After having 2 storms in the pre monsoon season, the post monsoon also started with a bang . Very Severe Cyclonic storm Gati formed in the Arabian Sea between 21st November and 24th November and made landfall at Hafun (Somalia) with a wind speed of 165kmh. This made Gati the first hurricane force cyclone to strike the country since reliable records began.

In quick succession another Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Nivar came up in the Bay of Bengal between 23rd November to 27th November. The cyclone though weakened to a cyclonic storm just before making landfall between Karaikal and Mamallapuram around Puducherry.

5th and last named storm of this season Burevi persisted for nearly one week between 30th November and 05th December. The storm made its first landfall over east coast of Sri Lanka and thereafter lingered over Gulf of Mannar. It nearly stalled over that area and finally weakened to a depression.

The ITCZ (Inter Tropical Convergence Zone) is lying in the equatorial belt of Indian Ocean. Therefore conditions do not favor for cyclogenesis in the Indian Seas to have any storm threating our coastline. Weather systems keep moving in the equatorial region and mostly head for Somalia moving across the Arabian Sea. The curtains will get drawn shortly for both Northeast Monsoon and Post Monsoon season on 31st December 2020.

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