A low-pressure area will likely develop over the southeast Bay of Bengal on May 7. It is likely to concentrate into a depression on May 8
The first cyclonic circulation of the year is likely to form over the southeast Bay of Bengal on May 7, 2023, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
Under the influence of cyclonic circulation — swirling winds — a low-pressure area will likely develop over the same region on May 7. It is likely to concentrate into a depression on May 8, where wind speeds range from 32-52 kmph.
The IMD also noted that there is a good chance that the depression intensifies as it moves northwards towards the central Bay of Bengal.
The cyclonic storm, if formed, will be named ‘Cyclone Mocha’ as per the nomenclature system followed by the WMO/ESCAP member countries. The name was suggested by the country of Yemen, after the Red Sea port city.
Conditions are conducive to the formation of cyclones in the Bay of Bengal. The tropical cyclone’s heat potential over the southeast and central Bay of Bengal is more than 100 kilojoules per square cm (KJ/cm2).
The heat potential indicates the amount of heat that is stored in the upper layers of the ocean. They are responsible for the formation, intensification and propagation of a cyclone. According to studies, heat potential above 60KJ/cm2 can increase the intensity of tropical cyclones.
IMD-Global Forecast System (GFS) model predicted a low-pressure area over the southeast Bay of Bengal on May 6, which will intensify into a severe cyclonic storm on May 9 over the southeast Bay of Bengal. The storm will move then north-northeastwards towards the east-central Bay of Bengal till May 12.
The Global Ensemble Forecast System (GEFS), another weather model created by National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), also predicted a low-pressure area forming on May 7 and a depression on May 8, which will intensify into a cyclonic storm on May 9 and a severe cyclonic storm on May 10.
In recent years most cyclones that developed in the region, including Amphan in 2020, Asani in 2021 and Yaas in 2022, made landfall in the month of May.
Further, GFS data, as visualised by the software Windy, showed that wind speeds could reach 73 kmph on May 9. It also indicated another depression could be brewing in the Indian Ocean, with speeds reaching 71 kmph on the same day.
By May 10, wind speeds could reach 94 kmph over the southeast Bay of Bengal and 81 kmph in the Indian Ocean.
In light of the new predictions by the IMD on Cyclone Mocha, the governments of Odisha and West Bengal have already started taking necessary precautions. The government of Odisha has asked the NDRF, ODRAF and Fire Services personnel to be prepared for any potential situation caused by the cyclone.
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