Agri Business

Monsoon rides cyclone Amphan, enters Bay of Bengal

Vinson Kurian Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on May 17, 2020

Photo: IMD website

To advance further into more parts of the Bay in next two days

The South-West Monsoon has entered parts of South Bay of Bengal, the Nicobar Islands and the Andaman Sea on Sunday, virtually hitching a ride on severe cyclone Amphan (pronounced Um-Pun) located over the South-East Bay around noon.

Early onset in Bay

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that the northern limit of the monsoon passed through Car Nicobar. Conditions are favourable for its further advance into some more parts of the South Bay; remaining parts of Andaman Sea and Andaman Islands; and parts of the East-Central Bay during the next two days. Heavy rainfall has been forecast for the Andaman & Nicobar Islands on Monday.

The entry of the monsoon into the Bay is at least five days ahead of the revised onset date of May 22 fixed by the IMD. But this does not necessarily have any implications for the ultimate onset over mainland India along the Kerala coast. In fact, the IMD has said that the onset there could be delayed until June 5 (with a model error of plus or minus four days) against the normal of June 1, and blames the cyclone for drawing away most of the incoming monsoon flows.

‘Amphan’ is expected to intensify at least twice to become an extremely severe cyclone ahead of landfall by Wednesday along the West Bengal-Bangladesh coast.

Extremely severe cyclone

By Sunday noon, severe cyclone Amphan was positioned about 990 km South of Paradip (Odisha); 1,140 km South-South-West of Digha (West Bengal) and 1,260 km South-South-West of Khepupara (Bangladesh). It may intensify further into a very severe cyclone later on Sunday and move nearly to the North into Monday and then re-curve to the North-North-East. The slow pace and extended stay over the waters would allow it to strengthen rapidly until then. In the North Bay, though, Amphan may suddenly gather speed to cross the West Bengal-Bangladesh coasts between Sagar Islands (West Bengal) and Hatiya Islands (Bangladesh) on Wednesday afternoon/evening, slightly weakened as a very severe cyclone.

As an extremely cyclone, Amphan would likely be buffeted by top wind speeds of 170-180 km/hr and gusting to 200 km/hr, a notch below the super cyclone status. It would be the fourth extremely severe cyclone since 1990 to form in the Bay of Bengal during the pre-monsoon season. The last pre-monsoon extremely severe cyclone was Fani during April 26-May 4 in 2019, which had reached top winds speeds of 205 km/hr before making a landfall over the North Chilika region in Odisha and killed at least 89.

Fishermen served warning

The IMD said that squally wind speeds of 80-90 km/hr gusting to 100 km/hr are currently prevailing over the South-East and adjoining South-West Bay. They may ramp up to 125-135 km/hr gusting to 150 km/hr over the Southern parts of the Central Bay by tomorrow (Monday) morning; 160-170 km/hr gusting to 190 km/hr over the Northern parts of the Central Bay and adjoining North Bay on Tuesday; and 155-165 km/hr gusting to 180 km/hr over the North Bay by Wednesday, the day of the landfall.

Sea condition will be rough (with wave heights of up to 46 ft) over the South-West and adjoining Central Bay till Tuesday, and become phenomenal (46 ft and above) over the Southern parts of the Central Bay from tonight (Sunday) over the Northern parts of the Central Bay and adjoining North Bay on Tuesday and over the North Bay on Wednesday. Fishermen are advised not to venture into the South Bay till later today; the Central Bay from today till tomorrow; and the North Bay from Tuesday to Wednesday. They have also been advised not to venture into the North Bay and along and off the North Odisha, West Bengal and adjoining Bangladesh coasts from tomorrow (Monday) to Wednesday.

High winds, heavy rain

Odisha is likely to experience light to moderate rainfall at many places with heavy falls at isolated places from Monday evening. North Coastal Odisha may witness rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places Tuesday. Isolated heavy rainfall is forecast over North Coastal Odisha on Wednesday. The Coastal districts of West Bengal are likely to experience light to moderate rainfall at many places with heavy falls at isolated places on Tuesday. As for the coastal districts of West Bengal, rainfall is likely at most places with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places and extremely heavy falls at isolated places on Wednesday.

Squally winds reaching speeds of 45-55 km/hr and gusting to 65 km/hr may commence along and off South Odisha coast from Monday; extend to along and off the North Odisha coast on Tuesday morning and along and off the West Bengal coast from the same afternoon. The wind speeds will gradually increase becoming gale winds at 75-85 km/hr gusting to 95 km/hr from Wednesday morning along and off the North Odisha and West Bengal coasts. It will gradually increase thereafter along and off the West Bengal coast. Squally winds of 45-55 km/hr gusting to 65 km/hr have been warned over the Andaman Sea until tomorrow.

Published on May 17, 2020

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