Agri Business

Cyclone Maha weakens; may skirt Saurashtra, end over Diu with a whimper

Vinson Kurian Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on November 06, 2019

File photo   -  BusinessLine

 

The weakening severe cyclone Maha may probably skirt the Saurashtra coast and not make landfall as expected, and may instead lie further weakened as a deep depression 40 km South of Diu by Thursday noon.

The weakening trend has accelerated given the cooler waters it is encountering on the home stretch as also the increased wind shear from back-to-back western disturbances travelling just to the North.

Storm tower compromised

Wind shear, or change of wind direction and speed with height, interacting with another weather system can lop off the head of the storm tower and compromise its health in a dramatic manner.

The speed with which this is evolving can only match with the overnight transformation of a once-very-severe cyclone Maha into an extreme cyclone in the mid-seas, something that had caught weather watchers by surprise.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) expects Maha to skirt Saurashtra and loiter around Diu by noon on Thursday before resuming its laboured travel East-North-East and weakening as a depression by the evening.

 

Mid-morning on Wednesday, Maha lay as a severe cyclone about 400 km West-South-West of Porbandar; 440 km West-South-West of Veraval; and 490 km West-South-West of Diu.

It is expected to travel nearly to the East, weaken into a conventional cyclone by the evening and then change track East-North-East to weaken as a deep depression by Thursday morning.

This is when it might start to stall, while still being based over the waters of the North-East and adjoining East-Central Arabian Sea, before starting to drift towards Diu by noon.

Rainfall warning along coast

Gujarat: Light to moderate rainfall at many places with heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places is forecast over Saurashtra and Gujarat (Junagarh, Gir Somnath, Amreli, Bhavnagar, Surat, Bharuch, Anand, Ahmedabad, Botad, Porbandar, and Rajkot) for Wednesday.

Isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall has been forecast for Bhavnagar, Surat, Bharuch, Anand, and Vadodara with heavy rainfall at isolated places over Botad and Ahmedabad on Thursday.

Maharashtra

Light to moderate rainfall at most places with isolated heavy falls is likely over Madhya Maharashtra and North Konkan (Palghar and Thane districts) today; a similar outlook is valid for the northern-most districts of Madhya Maharashtra tomorrow.

A detailed wind warning and storm surge alert for these regions is available at the link: http://www.imd.gov.in/pages/press_release_view.php?ff=20191106_pr_660

Cyclone alert in Bay

Meanwhile, on the other side of the peninsula, an existing depression over the East-Central and adjoining South-East Bay of Bengal and North Andaman Sea moved to the North and intensified into a deep depression early on Wednesday morning,

The IMD located it about 390 km West-North-West of Maya Bandar (Andaman Islands); about 810 km South-South-East of Paradip (Odisha); 920 km South-South-East of Sagar Islands (Bengal); and 960 km South-South-West of Khepupara (Bangladesh).

It may intensify into a cyclone anytime tonight (Wednesday) or Thursday morning and move West-North-West before shifting track North-North-West towards the Bengal, adjoining North Odisha and Bangladesh coasts.

 

As an erstwhile extreme severe cyclone in the Arabian Sea glides towards the West Coast for landfall with a whimper, the journey has just started for this counterpart system in the Bay of Bengal, which is set to intensify to peak strength as a very severe cyclone, per IMD projections.

 

High wind warning in Bay of Bengal

Andaman and Nicobar Islands: Strong winds with speeds reaching 35-45 km/hr and gusting to 55 km/hr may prevail over the Andaman Islands and the North Andaman Sea until tomorrow (Thursday)

Bay of Bengal: Squally winds with speeds reaching 50-60 km/hr gusting to 70 km/hr were prevailing over the East-Central and adjoining South-East Bay of Bengal around the centre of the deep depression by noon on Wednesday.

They will become gale winds with speeds reaching 70-80 km/hr gusting to 90 km/hr by Thursday morning. They will increase further, becoming 120-130 km/hr gusting to 145 km/hr over the North-West and adjoining Central Bay of Bengal by Saturday evening.

Odisha and Bengal coasts: Squally winds with speeds reaching 40-50 km/hr gusting to 60 km/hr may commence over the North-West Bay of Bengal off the Odisha-Bengal coasts from Friday evening and increase thereafter.

Sea conditions

Sea conditions will be very rough to high (wave heights of 20-30 ft) over the East-Central Bay of Bengal till Thursday, becoming very high to phenomenal (30-46 ft) thereafter over the Central and adjoining North-West Bay. It will rough over the north Andaman Sea (8 ft) until Thursday noon.

Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the North Andaman Sea and adjoining South-East Bay of Bengal until Thursday noon; into the East-Central Bay of Bengal on Thursday and Friday; and into the West-Central and adjoining North-West Bay of Bengal from Friday to Sunday.

Fishermen are advised not to venture into the North Bay of Bengal along and off the Odisha-Bengal coasts from Friday. Those out at sea have been advised to return to shore from these areas.

Published on November 06, 2019

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