Severe cyclone ‘Asani’ to reach peak strength away from coast today


Cyclone ‘Asani’ ramped up into a severe cyclone earlier than expected on Sunday night and lay centred by midnight about 710 km North-West of Car Nicobar; 570 km West-North-West of Port Blair; 670 km South-East of Visakhapatnam; and 750 km South-South-East of Puri.

The severe cyclone will continue to move towards the North Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coasts until tomorrow night, India Meteorological Department (IMD) said this (Monday) morning. It may reach a peak strength of 105-115 km/hr in wind speeds and gusting to 125 km/hr today.

Cyclone Asani as seen by satellite as it lay parked over South-East and adjoining West-Central Bay of Bengal on Tuesday morning. Heavy rain bands are already impacting the Myanmar coast.

To weaken, recurve

It will relent a bit by tomorrow (Tuesday) morning and start weakening as a conventional cyclone by midnight (80-90 kmph gusting to 100 kmph) as it recurves to the North-North-East towards the Odisha and West Bengal coasts, the IMD said without indicating a time and place for landfall.

‘Asani’ would be buffeted by galeforce winds of 80-90 kmph gust to 100 kmph until early Wednesday morning. Squally winds of 40-50 kmph gusting to 60 kmph may prevail along and off Odisha and adjoining North Andhra Pradesh coasts. Winds may reach 60-70 kmph gusting to 80 kmph over the seas and 40-50 kmph gusting to 60 kmph along and off the Odisha coast.

‘Waking up’ Arabian Sea

From Tuesday evening, light to moderate rainfall, heavy at times, is predicted for parts of Coastal Odisha and adjoining areas of North coastal Andhra Pradesh. On Wednesday, this will spread out to Coastal Odisha and adjoining coastal North Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal, and on Thursday to coastal Odisha and West Bengal.

Meanwhile, ‘Asani’ churning up the Bay is likely to ‘excite’ the Arabian Sea into action with a barrage of south-westerly flows blasting the West Coast towards Goa and Konkan, as per IMD’s extended outlook, from later this week. This could even set up a low-pressure area, helping scale up the monsoon-friendly south-westerlies to the rest of the West Coast, including Kerala and Karnataka.

Watch for monsoon onset

Around the same time, the Bay is projected to recoup some of the energy lost to erstwhile cyclone ‘Asani’ with the waters having cooled off from the heavy torrents. The Bay may benefit from another system likely forming over the East Indian Ocean just below the Equator around mid-May and perks up the south-westerly flows.. These developments to both sides of Peninsular India would bear close watching for implications for what could likely be an early onset of the monsoon over the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, the farthest outpost in the Indian territorial waters, and later Kerala.

Myanmar is expecting the onset to happen anytime soon (May 8-13 as per an earlier forecast) after Asani triggers strong south-westerly flows to the north-eastern fringes of the Bay. Sri Lanka, the next pit-stop, is already witnessing enhanced pre-monsoon activity, which may intensify thanks to expected developments in the Arabian Sea.

Published on

May 09, 2022

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