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‘Kyarr’ will become a supercyclone: IMD

Vinson Kurian Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on October 27, 2019

The IMD’s radar eyes tracked how the extremely severe cyclone ‘Kyarr’ assumed monstrous proportions, riding on the back of overly obliging environmental factors. File photo   -  Website/IMD

Ferocious storm will be away from land when it reaches menacing strength

Extremely severe cyclone ‘Kyarr’ is now seen transforming into a rare and fearsome supercyclone roaming the comparably smaller basin of the Arabian Sea, but away from land. This is the first supercyclone after ‘Gonu’, till then considered the strongest-ever to lord over the Arabian Sea. Intense tropical cyclones such as ‘Gonu’ and now ‘Kyarr’ are extremely rare in the Arabian Sea, and most storms in this area tend to be small and dissipate quickly.

‘Kyarr’ might just be looking to beat ‘Gonu’ at its own game, having been forecast by the IMD to whip up wind speeds of a catastrophic 255 to 265 km/hr by tomorrow (Monday).

The only big consolation is that the ferocious storm will be thankfully away from any landmass as it reaches menacing strength this (Sunday) morning, an India Meteorological Department (IMD) outlook said.

 

Monster storm ‘Kyarr’

The IMD’s radar eyes tracked how the extremely severe cyclone ‘Kyarr’ assumed monstrous proportions, riding on the back of overly obliging environmental factors. An extremely severe cyclone is the strongest in terms of the IMD’s classification of storms developing in its territorial waters, while a super cyclone is the strongest, class-topping cyclone.

The monster storm had moved West-North-West with a speed of 13 km/hr and lay centred 540 km West-South-West of Mumbai early this morning (5.30 am) and 1,500 km east of Salalah (Oman).

According to the IMD, it would likely further intensify into a supercyclonic storm by 8.30 am, and is expected to move further to the West-North-West towards Oman coast during the next five days.

 

Catastrophic winds

The IMD has said winds reaching speeds of 215-225 km/hr gusting to 250 km/hr are currently prevailing around the system centre (5.30 am) over the East-Central Arabian Sea. These are likely to escalate gradually, becoming a catastrophic 255-265 km/hr gusting to 290 km/hr by the early hours of tomorrow (Monday) over the East-Central and adjoining West-Central Arabian Sea.

Sea conditions will be ‘phenomenal’ it said (wave heights of 46 ft and above) over the East-Central Arabian Sea till Wednesday and improve gradually thereafter becoming ‘high’ to ‘very rough’ (up to 30 ft) by Thursday.

It would be ‘phenomenal’ around the system centre over the West-Central Arabian Sea from Monday to Wednesday evening and will become ‘high to very high’ (up to 46 ft) during the subsequent two days.

Fishermen have been advised against venturing out into the East-Central Arabian Sea till Tuesday and into the West-Central Arabian Sea from Tuesday to Friday.

IMD gets it right again

Meanwhile, the IMD has proved again why it is being considered among the best cyclone trackers around the globe, as even international models have been made to concur with its consistent outlook for ‘Kyarr’.

The IMD has not deviated from a purely West-North-West track towards the Oman coast from day one, while the international models have been wavering, and suggesting a track elsewhere.

For instance, till Saturday, the US Joint Typhoon Warning Centre and The Weather Company, an IBM Business, had been looking at a track to the North (looking at Karachi in Pakistan).

But both have revised their track forecasts this (Sunday) morning, looking more towards the West-South-West towards the southern parts of Oman, which would become clearer over the next couple of days.

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Meanwhile, would-be super cyclone ‘Kyarr‘ has been following a track very similar to that of its predecessor supercyclone ‘Gonu’ of 2007, which had developed over the East-Central Arabian Sea on June 1, 2007.

The date coincides with what is usually the onset of the South-West monsoon over India’s West Coast.

With a favourable upper-level environment and warm sea surface temperatures, ‘Gonu’ had rapidly intensified to attain peak winds of 235 km/h on June 4.

Will ‘Kyarr’ weaken?

The supercyclone weakened after encountering dry air and cooler waters, and early on June 6, it made landfall on the eastern-most tip of Oman, becoming the strongest tropical cyclone to hit the Arabian Peninsula.

International forecasters also find a similar outlook for ‘Kyarr’, though the IMD has refrained from taking a call just as yet.

Gonu then turned northward into the Gulf of Oman, and dissipated on June 7, after making landfall in South Iran, the first landfall in the country since 1898.

Published on October 27, 2019

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