A cyclonic storm is likely to form over Bay of Bengal (BoB) anytime soon around the weekend. Earlier, the weather system was marked as a low pressure area over southern parts of Central BoB. It has moved east -northeastward and is currently located over Southeast BoB and adjoining Equatorial Indian Ocean. It is expected to move further east-northeastward and also become well marked over Southeast Bay and adjoining South Andaman Sea in the next 24hr.
Low pressure area has manifested well as an organized cloud cluster with a large convective spread between 5-10°N and 84-89°E. There is fair amount of chance for the system to turn into a depression by late hours tomorrow. With ongoing intensification and incremental shift towards northeast, it is expected to intensify in to a cyclonic storm on 20thMarch, over Andaman Sea and Bay Islands. For a brief period, the storm may head northwest while over open waters but later recurve northeastward to march towards Myanmar-Bangladesh coastline.
Sea condition will be turbulent and very rough starting tomorrow and turn rampaging till 21stMarch. Complete stretch of Bay Islands from Nancowry, Hut Bay, Long Islands, Port Blair, Car Nicobar and Mayabandar will be at risk of inundation with very heavy rains accompanied with gale speed winds, lasting between 18th and 21st March. Mainland Indian coastline will not have any impact. Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh Odisha and West Bengal can breathe easy as the complete shore will be spared of any ravaging weather activity.
History is likely to be created with the 2nd storm forming over BoB in quick succession in the month of March. Earlier, tropical cyclone 1B came up over Southwest BoB in the 1st week of March, threating Tamil Nadu but got diffused over open waters at a safe distance from the coast. Only 06 cyclones have formed so far over BoB in March since 1901. The development of yet another storm, undoubtedly will be an outlier. Formation of 2 storms in the month of March over BoB will create an history which does not find any parallel and may not find one for many years to come.
Bay of Bengal, on an average hosts 1-2 cyclonic storms in the entire Pre-Monsoon season (Mar-Apr-May). Year 2019 was an exception, when 3 storms developed during the season. 2019 was also exceptional in terms of hosting total of record 9 cyclones over Indian Seas, including ‘Super Cyclone Kyaar” over Arabian Sea during post monsoon( 24Oct-01Nov). There are repeated years when ‘NIL’ cyclone formed in the entire pre monsoon season, like 2005, 2007 and 2012 over BoB.
Number Of Storms During Pre Monsoon Over Indian Seas
Looking at the environmental conditions and the excess heat potential of the Indian Seas, the record of 3 cyclones in 2019 may be challenged and surpassed. With March Equinox approaching shortly (20thMarch), the Sun will shift to Northern Hemisphere. Inter Tropical Convergence Zone also will shift up over the Indian Seas. Conditions will be more conducive for development of cyclonic disturbances on either side of Indian coastline.