Last weekend witnessed the first tropical storm of the season and year 2022 in the Bay of Bengal. The storm was numbered 01B by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (Hawaii) and Cooperative Institute of Meteorological Satellite Studies ( Madison). It was not upgraded beyond Deep Depression by the Meteorological Center Delhi. Notwithstanding, 01B was one of the shortest living storm in the Bay of Bengal, in the month of March.
The deep depression was enhanced to the initial grade of ‘cyclone’ at 5.30am on 05thMar and back again to Deep Depression by late evening. Life span was about 15hr, one of the shortest for any such system in the month of March. Also, the cyclone stayed over the Sea at a safe distance from the coastline and therefore, sparing state of Tamil Nadu of storm fury. This was one of the rare weather systems, which weakened rapidly from storm to a well marked low pressure in a span of little over 12hr.
The storm also followed a precarious track, moving north and south and shifting closer to the Tamil Nadu coast in the dying stage. Moderate showers were observed at some locations like Atiramapattinam, Parangipettai, Karaikal, Cuddalore and light elsewhere including the capital city Chennai.
The low pressure has further diffused and now lies as a cyclonic circulation over Gulf of Mannar and adjoining Southwest Bay of Bengal. Light and fleeting showers are expected today between Karaikal and Kanyakumari and abeam inland, along and off the coast. The system will fade away completely in another 24hr.
Notwithstanding, the least visible impact of the storm, it will go in the historic records of being the earliest over Bay of Bengal during month of March. Earlier, 5 storms had formed over the Bay of Bengal between 1901 and 2021. The storm 01B ranks 06th and in quick succession of its predecessor in the year 2020. None of these storms have made any landfall over the Indian coastline and the track record was upheld by 01B when it shied away striking Tamil Nadu coast.