Mahesh Palawat, chief meteorologist at Skymet, a private weather forecast agency, speaks to Kanika Kumria on how Hudhud developed, its likely progress and impacts
What is the status of the cyclone?
Hudhud may intensify into a severe cyclone. It is currently centred around 13.7°N latitude and 89.2°E longitude, 780 km away from south-southeast of Gopalpur in Odisha and 770 km southeast of Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.
How did Hudhud develop?
A low pressure area developed in south Andaman Sea on October 5. The next day it become depression and intensified into a deep depression on October 7. On October 8, it was classified as a cyclone—Hudhud.
Is it normal for cyclones to form at this time of year?
Yes, it is normal for cyclones to form in Bay of Bengal during pre-monsoon (April and May) and post-monsoon (October to December). The frequency of cyclones is more during post monsoon season. It is evident from the cyclonic circulations last year when eight cyclonic circulations formed in the Bay of Bengal out of which four turned into named cyclonic storms—Phailin (October 12, 2013), a very severe cyclonic storm; Helen (November 22, 2013), a cyclonic storm; Leher (November 28, 2013), a deep depression; and Madi (December 10, 2013), a depression.
What could be the intensity and severity of Hudhud?
The cyclonic storm Hudhud will soon become a severe cyclonic storm and chances of the cyclone strengthening further into a very severe cyclonic storm is high. Presently, the cyclonic storm Hudhud is far away from the India coast, therefore, predicting its exact landfall would be difficult. At the moment entire coast of Bengal, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh is at threat as the storm can head towards any of these coasts in the next four days. Chances of the cyclone making landfall between Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and Gopalpur in Odisha is high.
Cyclone systems in Bay of Bengal are becoming more frequent and more intense. Is climate change the reason?
No, it is not. Historically three to five cyclones form in Bay of Bengal each year. Frequency is more during October to December.
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