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South-West monsoon enters parts of Bay of Bengal

Vinson Kurian Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on May 21, 2021

The Bay of Bengal will witness a blow-up on Saturday with the India Meteorological Department predicting formation of a low-pressure area. The South-West monsoon entered the eastern parts of the Bay on Friday, around the normal date.

IMD retains watch for a low-pressure area and eventual cyclone

The South-West monsoon has entered parts of South-West Bay of Bengal, most parts of South-East Bay of Bengal, the South Andaman Sea and Nicobar Islands and some parts of North Andaman Sea on Friday.

This corresponds with the normal time of arrival over the South-East Bay and the South Andaman Sea. The eagerly anticipated onset over mainland India along the Kerala coast is expected to happen around May 31 with a model error of +/-4 days, as per an India Meteorological Department (IMD) assessment.

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Private forecaster Skymet Weather sees the onset over Kerala happening around May 30 with a model error of +/-2 days. Advance of the monsoon into the Andamans region does not have relevance to either the timing of onset over Kerala or the quantum of rainfall being generated over the mainland.

Enhanced flows in Bay

Meanwhile, the IMD said on Friday that the advance of the monsoon across its eastern gateway in the Bay of Bengal was helped by the strengthening and deepening of the south-westerly winds set in motion by the erstwhile extremely severe cyclone Tauktae in the Arabian Sea, and widespread rainfall activity.

The northern Limit of Monsoon linked a line passing through the South-East of Sri Lanka, the Madurai latitude in the South-East Bay of Bengal and Port Blair in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

Low-pressure area on Saturday

The IMD assessed conditions as becoming favourable for further advance of the monsoon into more parts of the South-West Bay, remaining parts of South-East Bay, the entire Andaman Sea and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands and parts of the Central Bay during the next two days.

This phase will also see a cyclonic circulation over the South-East and adjoining Central Bay deepening into a low-pressure area over the East-Central Bay and adjoining North Andaman Sea tomorrow (Saturday).

It is forecast to move in a North-West track and rapidly intensify into a cyclone by Monday. The cyclone too would move to North-West, intensify further and reach the North Bay near the Odisha-West Bengal coasts by Wednesday morning, the IMD said without mentioning a landfall point on the coast.

High wind alert in Bay

A high wind alert stated that squally winds reaching 40-50 km/hr in speed and gusting to 60 km/hr may prevail over South-East Bay and South Andaman Sea from today (Friday) onwards. A similar alert is valid over the Andaman Sea and adjoining East-Central and South-East Bay on Saturday.

Wind may speed up to 45-55 km/hr gusting to 65 km/hr over the East-Central Bay and adjoining North Andaman Sea from Monday and further to 50-60 km/hr gusting to 70 km/hr. They may acquire gale force to 65-75 km/hr gusting to 85 km/hr over the Central Bay from Monday before scaling up into Tuesday.

Tauktae remnant weakens

The Bay cyclone emerges close on the heels of the extremely severe cyclone Tauktae whose remnants travelled a long distance from the landfall point over Gujarat coast and was located on Friday, weakened many times over as a cyclonic circulation but not before raining it down, over North and North-West India.

The IMD has forecast light to moderate rainfall at most places over the Andaman & Nicobar Islands with heavy to very heavy falls at isolated places till Sunday. Light to moderate rainfall may commence at most places over Odisha and West Bengal from Tuesday, accompanied by falls. The rains will scale up significantly in spatial coverage and intensity thereafter.

Published on May 21, 2021

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