Skymet weather

Maiden cyclone of the season still awaited, the threshold has been crossed

May 5, 2021 3:30 PM |

Cyclones in India

Currently, there is no active cyclonic storm anywhere around the globe in any of the oceans. There is not even a suspect area including over the most active basins including the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea. In April 2019, Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm 'Fani' had battered Odisha and Super Cyclone 'Amphan' ravaged West Bengal in May 2020. Relatively this season has been mild so far for the global seas. The exception was there when Super typhoon 'Surigae' formed in the West Pacific last month but spared the landmass and kept loitering over the open seas till dissipation.

The tropical cyclones have no bounds in the North Indian Ocean. This includes the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea and precariously it has 2 peaks of activity. The first peak when the Sun travels from the equator to the Tropic of Capricorn (March-June) and the second when the Northeast Monsoon regime accelerates over the Bay of Bengal (Oct-Dec). Sun remains mostly in the Southern Hemisphere during the 2nd peak.

North Indian Ocean Cyclones

The last storm to form over the North Indian Ocean was Burevi, named by the Maldives and the next one forming will be named Tauktae by Myanmar.

Typically, the strongest cyclones which affect India are during the fall peak, but not without exceptions like Fani and Amphan. While the spring cyclones more often carry towards Myanmar and Bangladesh, the latter one threatens the entire east coast. A relative silence between the 2 peaks is attributable to Asian Monsoon. This part of Asia is famous for having more pronounced monsoon in the world. Monsoon winds from the southwest sweep the moisture flux from late spring through summer, fuelling heavy rainfall over India. During these monsoon months, the upper-tropospheric winds over the North Indian Ocean become too brisk for any cyclonic disturbance to develop. Weak vertical wind shear on either side of the monsoon window possibly triggers the strongest tropical cyclones in the North Indian Ocean. The Sea Surface Temperature generating heat potential, most essential for any cyclogenesis, gets superimposed on other environmental conditions. Cyclones forming during this period have a long sea journey and therefore very energetic.

Cyclone Bhola in November 1970 killed 300,000 people in Bangladesh and severe storm Nargis caused over 130,000 deaths in Myanmar in May 2008. In Indian history, the 1999 Odisha Cyclone (25 Oct - 03 Nov) was the most intense recorded tropical cyclone in the North Indian Ocean and among the most destructive in the region. It had sustained winds of 260km/h and resulted in 15,000 fatalities. This wind speed was achieved later even by catastrophic cyclone Amphan.






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