Severe cyclone Yaas lay centred over North-West and West-Central Bay of Bengal about 220 km South-South-East of Paradip and 330 km South-South-East of Balasore Odisha at noon on Tuesday.
The location is also about 320 km South-South-East of Digha and 320 km South of Sagar Islands in West Bengal.
With this, Yaas may have entered the home stretch that would see intensification by another round to a very severe cyclone as it races towards the North Odisha coast, very close to Dhamra port by the early morning of Wednesday.
May gain strength
The IMD does not rule out further intensification during this phase through Tuesday night. Yaas is expected to cross the North Odisha-West Bengal coasts between Paradip and Sagar Island close to north of Dhamra and south of Balasore by noon as a very severe cyclone only, the IMD said.
It might not intensify entirely to the next level unlike the Arabian Sea cyclone, Tauktae did on the last leg a week ago.
Wind speeds are likely to be around 155-165 km/hr gusting to 185 km over the North-West Bay and along and off the North Odisha and adjoining West Bengal coasts from early on Wednesday morning, and 120-130 km/hr gusting to 145 km over Mayurbhanj.
After helping precipitate the onset of the South-West monsoon over the Bay, what Yaas is likely do with the dynamics of the onset over the mainland along the Kerala coast remains to be seen.
The IMD has said that the onset is likely to happen on May 31 with a model error of +/-4 days.
Akhilesh Gupta, a former operational forecaster, now a top official with the Department of Science & Technology, while agreeing that the onset could be around May 31, felt that it may interfere with the progress of the monsoon, at least initially.
“It is only to be expected that Kerala and coastal Karnataka may get rainfall associated with the onset for the first three or four days. But it may not last much longer with winds turning north-westerly for a while and we may have to wait for the next pulse to arrive,” he said in an informal interaction online with weather enthusiasts.