Mid-sea drama unfolds as Maha intensifies into extremely severe cyclone

Vinson Kurian Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on November 04, 2019 Published on November 04, 2019

Fishermen had been forced to stay back for days after fishing operations along Kerala-Karnataka coasts were suspended following the Cyclone Maha   -  The Hindu

Maha to weaken as severe cyclone while bearing down on Gujarat coast

Forecasters are surprised to watch very severe cyclone Maha intensify into an extremely severe cyclone by early this (Monday) morning with prospects for further strengthening in the East-Central Arabian Sea.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) witnessed the mid-sea drama unfold, and located the extremely severe cyclone early in the morning 660 km West-South-West of Veraval (Gujarat); 700 km West-South-West of Diu; and 640 km West-South-West of Porbandar.

Read the IMD Forecast here

U-turn, as scheduled

The IMD has put Maha watch for further intensification till tomorrow (Tuesday) morning and weaken gradually thereafter. It is forecast to move West-North-West slowly through the rest of the day and into the night, re-curve (take a U-turn) towards to East-North-East twards India's coast and move in rapidly thereafter.

Also read: Cyclone impact weighs heavy on Gujarat farmers

It is expected to cross the Gujarat coast between Diu and Porbandar as a severe cyclone with maximum sustained wind speed of 100-110 km/hr gusting to 120 km/hr by Wednesday midnight or early on Thursday.


The pattern of intensification as projected in Maha's case does not happen so often. It is not too long ago that  supercyclone Kyarr pulverised the same waters and therefore it was natural to expect that the heavy rain from it would have cooled the sea surface, limiting the scope for intensification of successor storms.

Also read: Severe cyclone Maha to cross Gujarat coast by Wednesday night: IMD

The very fact that Maha was put under watch by the IMD for intensification as a very severe cyclone so early into its initiation had caught many seasoned weather watchers unawares.

After getting its forecasts spot on with respect to supercyclone Kyarr, there was no cause for suspecting IMD's forecasting capabilities, as subsequent tracking of successor very severe cyclone Maha has proved till date.

But, evidently, its further intensification as an extremely severe cyclone (next only to a supercyclone) would have even surprised even IMD, prompting it to watch for signs of Maha's further strengthening. 


Wind warning

Gujarat coast: Squally winds with speed reaching 40-50 km/hr gusting to 60 km/hr may commence over the North-East Arabian Sea along and off the Gujarat coast from Wednesday morning. It is very likely to increase gradually becoming 100-110 km/hr gusting to 120 km/hr from the same evening into Thursday.

Maharashtra coast: Squally winds with speed reaching 40-50 km/hr gusting to 60 km/hr are likely along and off the Maharashtra coast from Wednesday morning. The speed may accelerate becoming 50-60 km/hr gusting to 70 km/hr from the evening into Thursday.

Arabian Sea: Gale winds with speed reaching 160-170 km/hr gusting to 190 km/hr were prevailing over

East-Central Arabian Sea around the the centre of the extremely severe cyclone system early this (Monday) in the morning.

This s very likely to increase gradually over the East-Central Arabian Sea becoming 180-190 km/hr gusting to 210 km/hr over the West-Central and the adjoining East-Central and North-West Arabian Sea by Monday midnight and decrease thereafter.


Sea condition

The sea condition will be rough to very rough (wave heights of 13-20 ft) along and off Gujarat coast from Wednesday morning, becoming high to very high (30-46 ft) from the evening. Along the Maharashtra coast, it would be rough to very rough along and off the North Maharashtra coast on Wednesday.

Out into the sea, the condition will be phenomenal (wave heights of above 46 ft) over East-Central Arabian Sea till tomorrow (Tuesday) and will be very high (46 ft) on Wednesday.

It will be high to phenomenal (20-46 ft) over the West-Central Arabian Sea till tomorrow (Tuesday) and improve thereafter. It will be very high to high (46-30 ft) over the North-East Arabian Sea from today (Monday) to Wednesday.

Fishermen warning: Fishermen are advised not to venture into West-Central Arabian Sea till Tuesday and over East-Central and adjoining North-East Arabian Sea till Wednesday.

They should not venture into the sea along and  off Gujarat coast and the adjoining North Maharashtra coast on Tuesday and Wednesday. Those already out at sea are advised to return to the coast.

Rainfall alert: Light to moderate rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places is forecast over Saurashtra and Gujarat on Wednesday and Thursday.

Light to moderate rainfall at most places with isolated heavy falls is also likely over north Madhya Maharashtra and North Konkan (including Mumbai) during on these days.

Published on November 04, 2019
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