Agri Business

IMD chases down Cyclone Bulbul with clinical precision

Vinson Kurian Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on November 10, 2019 Published on November 10, 2019

A satellite image taken on November 10, 2019   -  IMD website

Erstwhile very severe cyclone Bulbul bore down over the Bengal coast as a severe cyclone on Saturday, right on schedule and along a track meticulously plotted by the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

This is the third time in the ongoing North-East monsoon that the IMD has chased down away-going cyclones on either side of the peninsula with clinical precision, entrenching its position as among the best of its ilk.

IMD Director-General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra and his team of trackers sat through what proved an eventful night for Odisha and Bengal, sending out hourly updates on Bulbul’s course into the Sunday morning.

 

Tracking Bulbul with precision

On Saturday evening, the IMD had said that the very severe cyclone had weakened a round, and crossed the Bengal coast close to Sunderban Dhanchi forests from 8:30 PM to 11.30 PM, still packing quite a punch, with maximum sustained wind speeds of 110-120 km/hr, gusting to 130 km/hr.

It lay centred close to the East of Sunderban Dhanchi forests by midnight, about 55 km East of Sagar Islands, 115 km East of Digha, 110 km South-South-East of Kolkata, 75 km South of Canning Town (all Bengal) and 175 km West-South-W est of Khepupara (Bangladesh).

It was the forecast to move East-North-East towards Bangladesh across the South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal, weaken gradually into a cyclone over Coastal Bangladesh and adjoining South and North 24 Parganas districts of Bengal.

 

The IMD said at 5:30 am on Sunday morning that the severe cyclone Bulbul moved East-North-East from Coastal Bengal during past six hours, and has weakened into a conventional cyclone over coastal Bangladesh and neighbourhood, about 160 km East-NorthEast of Sagar Islands (West Bengal); 75 km East-North-East of the Sunderban National Park; 130 km East-South-East of Kolkata; and 75 km West-North-West of Khepupara (Bangladesh).

The cyclone may move further East-North-East across Bangladesh and weaken into a deep depression over coastal Bangladesh and into a depression by this evening.

 

Threat to Bangaldesh: Skymet

On Saturday evening, private forecaster Skymet Weather had said that Bulbul had retained its intensity as a very severe cyclone for the previous 24 hours, buffeted by peak wind speeds of 150 km/hr.

The storm had then executed a re-curvature while moving in a North-East direction, which had led Skymet to estimate that it might possibly take up more time while closing in towards the coast.

 

Skymet had gone on to predict that Bulbul might likely make a landfall close to the Indo-Bangladesh border, near the Sagar Islands (Bengal) and Khepupara (Bangladesh) around between 8 PM to 10 PM. The system would not lose strength as it was crossing a delta region marked by marshy stretches with mud, water bodies and creeks, which would continue to feed moisture into it.

Skymet assessed that Bulbul might retain its strength for at least six hours after landfall. The storm will cover a large geographic area as it will travel deep inside the landmass.

 

It might possibly spend the next 12 hours (even into Sunday) as a storm signalling phenomenal threat to surrounding areas triggering strong winds and rains. South coastal parts of Bangladesh are likely to face the fury of the storm.

Extremely heavy rainfall to the tune of 10-20 cm is likely at many places.

Cities such as Khulna, Pirojpur, Barisal, Comila and Bhola are likely to be worst-affected. Although capital Dhaka might not witness the cyclone fury, surrounding region may be affected by winds speeding up to 40-50 km/hr.

Published on November 10, 2019
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