A very severe cyclone barreled down over the North Odisha coast on Wednesday, bringing the pre-monsoon cyclone season to an end. This has prompted weather watchers to focus on the South-West coast (Kerala) and the nearby seas, where a friendly buzz from an approaching monsoon has attracted keen interest.
Sri Lanka to the immediate South declared the onset on Tuesday, and India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Wednesday that conditions are becoming favourable for the advance of monsoon over parts of the Maldives-Comorin area (South and South-West Arabian Sea) as early as on Thursday.
Advance into more parts of Bay
This phase would also see the Bay arm of the monsoon advance further into South-West and East-Central Bay; some parts of West-Central Bay and entire South-East Bay of Bengal in one fell swoop, the IMD said. It has already forecast that the monsoon may enter Kerala on May 31 with a model error of +/-4 days.
Squally winds with speeds reaching 40-50 km/hr gusting to 60 km/hr are forecast over the South-West Arabian Sea on Thursday. Strong winds (40-50 km/hr) are also forecast over the Gulf of Mannar, the Comorin and Maldives area and along and off the Kerala coast. Therefore, fishermen are advised not to venture into these areas.
'Yaas' brings howling winds
Meanwhile, very severe cyclone ‘Yaas’ crossed the North Odisha coast about 20 km South of Balasore between 10.30 am-11.30 am on Wednesday buffeted by howling winds that ratcheted up to 130-140 km/hr in speed and gusting to 155 km/hr, the IMD said earlier on Wednesday.
It managed to pin it down to the last moment as the powerful cyclone erupted over the North Odisha coast to precipitate an elaborate landfall over three hours. Unlike predecessor extreme cyclone ‘Tauktae’ in the Arabian Sea, ‘Yaas’ didn’t flare up one last time round before landfall but maintained the intensity at a rank lower.
To weaken further over land
Post-landfall, it weakened as a severe cyclone at 11.30 am over North Coastal Odisha, about 15 km South-South-West of Balasore. At 3.50 pm, it was located about 25 km West-North-West of Balasore and 35 km South-South-West of Baripada, bearing wind speeds of 90-100 km/hr gusting to 110 km/hr.
‘Yaas’ was expected to move North-West and weaken gradually into a conventional cyclone by Wednesday evening. Wind speeds were winding down to 70-80 km/hr, gusting to 90 km/hr before weakening further.
Very severe cyclone ‘Yaas’ has started its elaborate landfall process from 9 am this (Wednesday) morning and is expected to cross the North Odisha-West Bengal coast to the South of Balasore in three hours (by around 12 noon) exactly as India Meteorological Department (IMD) had predicted.
At 10:30 am, the IMD located the storm centre over the North-West bay of Bengal within striking distance (about 45 km) of North-North-East of Dhamra; 60 km South-West of Digha; 40 km South-South-East of Balasore.
Buffeted by high winds
The prevailing wind speeds are 130-140 km/hr gusting to 155 km/hr, making ‘Yaas’ a powerful cyclone but ‘well-behaved’ than erstwhile extremely severe cyclone ‘Tauktae’ in the Arabian Sea which had kept the weathermen guessing till the last hour with respect to the track and place of landfall.
Wind speeds expected at the time of landfall of 'Yaas' are 130-140 km/hr gusting to 155 km/hr along and off Bhadrak and Balasore; and 100-110 km/hr gusting to 120 km/hr along and off Kendrapara. The wind speeds will decrease gradually after landfall becoming 65-75 km/hr gusting to 85 km/hr by this evening.
Rainfall alert for today
Odisha : Light to moderate rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy rains at a few places with extremely heavy falls at isolated places in Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Jajpur, Bhadrak, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Keonjhargarh. Heavy falls at isolated places in Puri, Khurda, Angul, Deogarh, Sundergarh.
West Bengal : Light to moderate rainfall at most places with extremely heavy rainfall at isolated places over Medinipur; and heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places over Jhargram, Bankura and South 24 Parganas; Heavy falls at isolated places over Purulia, Nadia, Murshidabad, East Bardhaman, Howrah, Hooghly, Kolkata, North 24 Parganas, Haldia, Darjeeling, Kalimpong.
Jharkhand :Light to moderate rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy rainfall and extremely heavy falls at isolated places today and tomorrow (Wednesday and Thursday).
Image credit: www.meteologix.com/in
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