Agri Business

‘Very severe cyclone’ may spin up over Arabian Sea

Vinson Kurian Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on May 14, 2021

The low-pressure area over the Arabian Sea has intensified into being well-marked and could likely deepen further into a depression towards the night on Friday on way to become a likely cyclone   -  the weather company

Top wind speeds of 150-160 km/hr, gusts at 175 km/hr

Weather alert in the Arabian Sea has been raised to that of a very severe cyclone with a prevailing well-marked low-pressure area having already intensified into a depression on Friday afternoon. It could become a deep depression into the same night, just a spin away from being called a conventional cyclone.

As per India Meteorological Department (IMD) notification, the deep depression could ramp up into a cyclone as early as Saturday. The MD also hinted at a change in track at least initially for the depression, taking it to the North-North-East ad closer to the Kerala-Karnataka coasts till Friday evening. It will then shift track to North-North-West and careen away towards the Gujarat coast. 

Very severe cyclone

The IMD located the depression on Friday afternoon over Lakshadweep to 80 km South-South-West of Amini Divi; 360 km West-south-West of Kannur (Kerala); and 1,170 km South-South-East of Veraval in Gujarat. It would reach a very severe cyclone status once it crosses the Ratnagiri latitude in Maharashtra on Sunday.

The IMD has given guidance with respect to the system further to the North till up to the latitude of Palghar (beyond Mumbai) early on Monday morning. The system is seen retaining strength as a very severe cyclone with maximum sustained surface wind speeds of 150-160 km/hr gusting to 175 km/hr by then. 

The cyclone, which would have shifted track to North-North-West from Friday evening, will aim to reach near the Gujarat coast by Tuesday morning, the IMD said. Some models indicate that it may weaken slightly from as its northern and north-eastern flanks graze the land features (arc between Gujarat and Mumbai).

Favourable environment

Earlier, global models had opined that two main factors on limiting the cyclone strength are ingestion of dry continental air and vertical wind shear (change of wind speed and direction with height). But for these, the system may have the potential to grow as very severe cyclone which the IMD agrees with.

The US Joint Typhoon Warning Centre pointed out that the environment is favorable for tropical a cyclone genesis with warm sea surface temperatures, low vertical wind shear (helping maintain storm tower) and modest upper-level divergence (window effect on top that helps the storm to breathe in and out).

The US military agency quotes numerical weather models suggesting that the system will continue to deepen but suspected it might track East-North-East until Saturday (now confirmed by the IMD) taking it closer to the West Coast before turning sharply northward thereafter (towards Gujarat). 

Published on May 14, 2021

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