India will need to be wary of an ‘active West Pacific typhoon (cyclone)’ for year 2014 as storms generated in seawaters next to the Bay of Bengal could affect the monsoon system here.
The Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal and the West Pacific are all key basins from where the larger Asian system draws moisture, the fuel it needs to sustain itself.
The storms generated – low-pressure areas, depressions, cyclones/typhoons – are responsible for transporting the moisture over land and rain it down.
So where these headed are can make or mar the prospects of rainfall over the vast geography from West Asia to the Far East.
Being an El Nino year, this is of crucial importance for India where the 2014 monsoon is either already running behind schedule or leaving behind a significant deficit.
International models are forecasting ‘active or above normal’ typhoon season this year in the West Pacific. Six named typhoons – Lingling, Kajiki, Faxai, Peipah, Tapah and lately Hagibis – have stalked these waters.
On an average, 11 intense typhoons, 17 typhoons, and 27 tropical storms have been forecast for the basin this year. Of these, only the above have been accounted for till today.
The rest are expected to come up during the peak season of June to August. Any track for onward movement towards Taiwan, China, the Koreas/Japan could prove costly for India.
Incoming ones (towards South China Sea, Vietnam, Laos) can send in ‘pulses’ which can re-generate in the Bay of Bengal to form weather systems there. But they will be fewer in number this year.
The key factor behind the forecast for an active Pacific typhoon season is the moderate El Nino anticipated in August-September 2014, the London-based Tropical Storm Group had said in its May forecast.
It will come out with an update in July.