Expect cyclone in Arabian Sea, more to come in Bay of Bengal

Southern peninsula should be ready for strong winds, rain Oct 25 onwards

By Akshit Sangomla
Published: Thursday 24 October 2019
Photo: Earth Nullschool

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecast the formation of a cyclone in the Arabian Sea by the afternoon of October 25, 2019 in its latest weather inference issued at 1:00 pm on October 24.

The storm is not likely to make landfall on the Indian sub continent. IMD predicted that the current depression in the Arabian Sea will intensify into a deep depression by October 24 night.

It also forecasts that the system will further intensify into cyclone Kyarr in the subsequent 12 hours. This will cause heavy rainfall in the coastal districts of Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa with strong gusts of wind. 

The Global Forecasting System of the United States National Weather Service predicted that Kyarr would move through the Arabian sea towards the Oman coast and further intensify. Current data showed that the storm will reach wind speeds of up to 200 kilometres per hour that would put in it the ‘extremely severe’ category.

This will be the second extremely severe cyclone in the Indian Ocean region this year after Cyclone Fani in May.

This will be the first cyclone, post-monsoon, usually a conducive time for the formation of cyclonic storms.

Both cyclones Vayu and Hikka (which formed during the monsoon) and now Kyarr have formed in the Arabian Sea, which is usually known to be less favourable for the formation for cyclones than the Bay of Bengal.

Private forecaster Skymet Weather Services predictd there might be two more cyclonic storms in the Indian Ocean region in the next 10 days. It said the reason was that both the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal were in an active phase.

The first storm system will form as a low-pressure area in south Bay of Bengal on October 25 and move towards the Tamil Nadu coast in close proximity to Sri Lanka subsequently.

Skymet said the conditions in the region were favourable to shift the storm into southwest Bay of Bengal. This system might bring heavy rainfall to Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, depending upon how it behaved after formation.

The third storm will develop from a remnant of a storm that will affect the Philippines on October 27 and cross over from there into the Bay of Bengal around November 1. 

The behaviour of all these storms can change rapidly due to changing environmental conditions near them. Cyclonic storms have become difficult to predict in the past few years due to warming sea surfaces and decreasing wind speeds, as was observed with Fani.

The well-marked low-pressure area in the Arabian Sea has already brought incessant rainfall to Karnataka and Kerala in the past few days, making rivers to flow in spate and cause floods.

Since the beginning of June, 285 people in Karnataka have died due to extreme-rain related incidents and floods, according to data from the Disaster Management Division of the Ministry of Home Affairs.

If the other two systems also behaved as predicted, people and authorities in the southern peninsula would have to stay alert for damages caused by strong winds, flooding and storm surges along the coast. 

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