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High wind, tall wave alerts issued for Arabian Sea as Maha is set to intensify

Vinson Kurian Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on November 01, 2019 Published on November 01, 2019

In a significant turn of events, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has hinted that severe cyclone Maha in the East-Central Arabian Sea might take a re-curve that orients it towards the North Gujarat coast.

In a noon update on Friday, the IMD said the severe cyclone has moved at a more rapid pace than its predecessor, supercyclone Karr. It was located over the East-Central Arabian Sea, about 450 km North-North-West of Aminidivi (Lakshadweep); 460 km North-North-West of Mangaluru; and 310 km South-South-West of Goa.

Changing tracks

In fact, the severe cyclone is forecast to shift track thrice - from West-North-West to North during the rest of the day today (Friday), back to West-North-West till the morning of November 5, before re-curving to the North-East and intensifying into a very severe cyclone by the evening.

The IMD's forecast tracks for Maharashtra are as follows:

 

 

 

The forecast track and intensity for the severe cyclone is as follows:

 

High winds, rough seas

Gale winds with speeds reaching 100-110 km/hr and gusting to 125 km/hr currently (Friday noon) prevail over the East-Central Arabian Sea, around the severe cyclone centre. The winds are likely to gradually strengthen to 115-125 km/hr, gusting to 140 km/hr by evening. The wind speed will later accelerate to 155-166 km/hr, gusting to 180 km/hr, over East-Central adjoining West-Central Arabian Sea by the morning of November 5.

Gale winds with speed reaching 115-125 km/hr, gusting to 140 km/hr, are likely to commence over the West-Central Arabian Sea from the morning of November 4, gathering strength to 155-165 km/hr, gusting to 180 km/hr by the next morning.

Squally winds with speed reaching 40-50 km/hr, gusting to 60 km/hr are likely along and off the coasts of Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra until tomorrow (Saturday) morning.

The sea condition will be very high (wave heights of up to 46 ft) over the East-Central Arabian Sea until tomorrow and will become phenomenal (above 46 ft) from this (Friday) evening and over the subsequent four days; these conditions will sustain over the East-Central and adjoining West-Central Arabian Sea till November 5.

The sea condition over the Lakshadweep area and adjoining South-East Arabian Sea will be rough to very rough (13 to 29 ft) until tomorrow (Saturday). Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea along and off the Karnataka-Goa-Maharashtra coasts until tomorrow (Saturday); into the East-Central Arabian Sea till November 6; and into the West-Central Arabian Sea from November 4 onwards.

Action in bay

The Arabian Sea may have seen most of the action during this North-East monsoon, but the IMD now suspects that the Bay of Bengal is ready to join in the action, with a low-pressure area set to form over the Andaman Sea (in South-East Bay of Bengal) by Sunday.

This low is forecast to move West-North-West within the Bay of Bengal (but far away from the Tamil Nadu coast on the East Coast) and concentrate into a depression over the East-Central Bay in the two days that follow.

This away movement is likely being dictated by an incoming western disturbance from the opposite side across North-West India, moving from West to East, a normal occurrence during this time of the year.

And this western disturbance is thought to be instrumental in forcing severe cyclone Maha to swerve from its track towards the North-East, as forecast by the IMD.

Western disturbance

The westerly winds from the disturbance would dip into the Bay of Bengal, tagging the brewing depression to deposit it over Odisha/Bengal or the North-Eastern states.

This would mean that Tamil Nadu's wait for the next round of meaningful rains may be extended, given the mini break that the season has apparently lapsed into.

Its hopes lie in the projections of the US National Centres for Environmental Prediction, which see sustained activity in the Bay of Bengal, thanks to storms being generated upstream in the North-West Pacific/South China Sea (see graphic below), which could send in some ‘burning embers.’

 

Published on November 01, 2019
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