Nearshore deep depression has lost steam: IMD

Vinson Kurian Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on December 05, 2019

But Cyclone Pawan is rising in the outer Arabian Sea

The deep depression over the South-West Arabian Sea intensified as a cyclone, named Pawan, early on Thursday morning and has practically remained stationary ever since about 470 km South-South-East of Socotra (Yemen) and 820 km East-South-East of Bosaso (Somalia).

Pawan lies far away from the Indian coast and is of no consequence to the weather but the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that it may maintain its intensity during the rest of the day and weaken gradually thereafter. It may move to the North-West for some more time, then re-curve to the West-South-West and cross the Somalia coast as a depression by Saturday morning.

Closer home in the East-Central Arabian Sea, a compatriot deep depression that promised to become a cyclone — an unprecedented second occasion when two cyclones would have held centrestage in the Arabian Sea — failed to make the grade after encountering an unfavourable environment nearer to the Karnataka-Goa coast.

In an anti-climax, it weakened twice over from overnight into Thursday morning in as dramatic a fashion as it had built up instant traction only the previous day. In fact, the IMD withdrew the cyclone outlook pertaining to this system last (Wednesday) night itself.

A prospective cyclone here would have been the year’s record-breaking ninth storm, the maximum for any at least since 1975. Instead, the deep depression moved West-North-West (away from India's coast) and lost steam to turn back to a depression early on Thursday morning. It lay centred about 710 km West-South-West of Mumbai and 680 km west of Panjim (Goa). It may continue to move West-North-West and weaken gradually into a well-marked low-pressure area over the seawaters.

From its location out at sea, the depression was able to rustle up strong winds along the Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra coast from early in the morning, apart from dropping spotty showers on an unsuspecting Mumbai, whose citizens were just about emerging from the discomfort of the unseasonal showers in November, then triggered by erstwhile very severe Arabian Sea cyclone, Maha.

Mumbai rains

The Maximum City’s denizens took to Twitter to express their worry about the implications of the unexpected showers. The rain had come at a time when they were expecting the winter chill to set in. In fact, warm south-westerly to south-easterly winds (instead of cooler north-westerly) had rudely interrupted the build-up to winter.

Also read: Why Mumbai woke up to a wet morning; IMD attributes unseasonal rain to deep depression in Arabian Sea

Light rain was reported from several parts of the city, including Thane, Dadar, Kalyan, and Mulund. It was enough to ruffle some feathers and tweets flew far and wide talking about global warming/climate change while others posted funny memes. The winds from the sea obviously carried moisture; and moisture meant warmth. Normally, winter winds in December should originate from North-West India, driven by the seasonal anticyclone that sits over the region.

KS Hosalikar, Deputy Director-General, IMD, Mumbai, tweeted that a “very light drizzle” was reported from isolated places in the city. It was cloudy over the city and parts of Maharashtra. Mumbai has already received 18.5 cm of rainfall during the post-monsoon season so far from October 1 to December 5, which is 53 per cent above normal. The warmth brought about by the moisture carried from the depression will only delay the arrival of the cooler weather.

Published on December 05, 2019

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