Mocha is expected to reach its peak intensity by the evening of May 13 while recurving towards southeast Bangladesh and the north Myanmar coast
The deep depression formed over the southeast Bay of Bengal on May 10 intensified into a cyclonic storm Mocha, confirmed the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on May 11, 2023.
The cyclone was formed at 5.30 am around the same region on May 11 and moved north-northwestwards at the speed of 8 kilometres per hour over a span of six hours, said the press statement issued by IMD.
The cyclone is expected to change its course within the next 24 hours. “The cyclone will gradually intensify into a severe cyclonic storm around midnight of May 11 and intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm by morning on May 12 over the central Bay of Bengal,” the statement read.
Mocha is expected to reach its peak intensity by the evening of May 13 while recurving towards southeast Bangladesh and the north Myanmar coast.
It is likely to hit the coasts between Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh and Kyaukpyu in Myanmar by the afternoon on May 14. The maximum sustained speed of the cyclone is estimated to be around 140-150 kmph, gusting upto 165 kmph, according to officials.
North Myanmar and the adjoining southeast Bangladesh coast will experience storm surges due to the cyclone, IMD estimated.
Storm surges with heights up to 2.5 metres above the astronomical tide are likely to flood the regions’ low-lying areas during the landfall.
The change in the course of the cyclone will enable the storm to sweep ocean waters onto the land, Raghu Murtugudde, a climate scientist at the University of Maryland and Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, had told Down To Earth.
Meanwhile, the IMD predicted heatwave conditions in isolated parts of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal between May 10 and 11. Heatwave conditions are prevailing over the Konkan region on May 11. Such conditions are likely to be over Rajasthan on May 12 and 13; over the coast of Andhra Pradesh and Yanam between May 13 and 15.
“The heatwave conditions are due to the strengthening of northwesterly winds. The anti-clockwise rotation of cyclone can pull drier and warm winds from Pakistan and adjoining areas,” said Debasish Jena, agrometeorology scientist, district agromet unit, Cuttack.
On May 10, maximum temperatures were below 40 degrees Celsius over major parts of the country except for some parts of eastern India, eastern Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, as well as the interior of Maharashtra and Gujarat, where temperatures hovered around 40-44°C. Temperatures were above normal in West Bengal, Northeast India, Bihar and parts of Saurashtra and Kutch.
Maximum temperatures are likely to soar up by 5°C over most parts of the country over the next three days. Eastern India is not likely to see any significant changes in maximum temperatures due to this.
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