Fani, Amphan & Yaas: Will Odisha Experience Another Cyclone This May?

Bhubaneswar: While the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast a fall in day temperature from Sunday with southerly and south-easterly winds penetrating Odisha, the Bay of Bengal is also likely to witness a low pressure in the first week of May.

“A cyclonic circulation is likely to form over south Andaman Sea and neighbourhood around May 4, which will progress to a low-pressure area. The system might become more marked in the subsequent 24 hours,” the IMD said on Friday.

Environmental conditions, including sea surface temperature of around 29 to 30 degree Celsius over the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea, are favourable for the intensification of the system into a depression. Any tropical system over the Andaman Sea reaching the stage of depression, stand a fair chance of growing to a storm, at this time of the season, the Skymet weather agency said.

Speaking to the media, IMD DG Mrutyunjay Mohapatra on Saturday confirmed the possible intensification of the system. “Usually, a low pressure formed in the Bay of Bengal in May intensifies. So far, the IMD has not made any prediction regarding its projected path and its intensity,” he said.

Mohapatra further said that cyclones mostly occur during the pre-monsoon season (March, April, May and June) and after the withdrawal of monsoon (October, November, December). “The frequency of cyclones is usually more in May and during November. Cyclone in the month of May cannot be ruled out and hence, we are constantly monitoring the development,” he added.

An accurate prediction about the cyclone can be made only after the formation of low pressure over the south Andaman sea and adjoining Bay of Bengal around May 6, he added.

Notably, storms during the month of May threaten Myanmar, Bangladesh, West Bengal and Odisha. Between 2011 and 2021, the Bay of Bengal has witnessed six storms, including the extremely severe cyclonic storm ‘Fani’ which made landfall in Odisha near Puri on May 3, 2019, with wind speed of 175-185 kmph gusting up to 205 kmp.

Amphan roared into West Bengal, around 20km east of Sagar Island in the Sunderbans, packing winds gusting to a top speed of 185 kmph on May 21, 2020. The following year, cyclone Yaas battered the northern coastline of Odisha with powerful winds and rains as it made landfall at Bahanaga block with a sustained wind speed of 130 to 140 kmph gusting up to 155 kmph on May 26.

The other three tropical storms – Viyaru (2013), Roanu (2016), Mora (2017) – struck Bangladesh near Chittagong.

“While most of these storms came up during the second half of May. There could be an exception coming up shortly, with a likely storm in the Bay of Bengal, the formative stage starting early first week,” the weather agency added.


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