In rapid-paced developments from Monday night, a deep depression which formed over the South-East Arabian Sea intensified into a cyclonic storm on Tuesday evening. India Meteorological Department (IMD) expects it to gradually intensify into a severe cyclonic storm over east-central Arabian sea during the next 24 hours. Earlier in May, near-super cyclone Mocha in the Bay of Bengal had presented the first pre-monsoon storm in that basin. 

Very severe cyclone likely

The cyclonic storm lay about 920 km West-South-West of Goa; 1,040 km South-West of Mumbai; 1,130 km South-South-West of Porbander; and 1,430 km South of Karachi. It is likely to move northwards and intensify into a cyclone storm over the East-Central Arabian Sea and adjoining the South-East Arabian Sea by Tuesday night (822 km km North-West of Kavaratti, Lakshadweep). 

The IMD expects the cyclone to intensify at least three times over as a very severe cyclone in the next four-five days as it moves away from the West Coast of India. It projects the cyclone to be located in the open waters at least 900 km to almost west of Mumbai by then.

Eyes a Karachi track?

Initial outlook suggests the cyclone may be headed towards the Karachi in Pakistan, not very far from North-West Gujarat and South-West Rajasthan in India. It may weaken off the Karachi coast and stall over nearby waters for a few days before being plucked away by a passing western disturbance and deposited over the Karachi and adjoining Gujarat coast by June 15. 

Fishermen alert sounded

In view of the brewing cyclone, fishermen were advised not to venture into the open waters of the South-East and adjoining Central and South-West Arabian Sea on Tuesday; East-Central and adjoining West-Central and South Arabian Sea from Wednesday to Friday; East-Central and adjoining West-Central Arabian Sea on Saturday; along and off the Kerala-Karnataka coasts and the Lakshadweep-Maldives areas on Wednesday and Thursday; and along and off Konkan-Goa- Maharashtra coasts from Thursday to Saturday. 

Monsoon stuck at Minicoy

Meanwhile, the monsoon remained stuck over Minicoy in Lakshadweep for the fifth day on Tuesday. The IMD did not set a fresh timeline but has forecast light to moderate to fairly widespread rain, thunderstorms, lightning, and gusty winds over Kerala, Lakshadweep, and South Interior Karnataka, and isolated to scattered over Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh during the next five days. Heavy rain is expected at isolated places over Lakshadweep and Kerala from Wednesday to Friday.