2019 Likely To Be Record-Breaking Cyclone Year For India

05 November 2019


Bhubaneswar: With six cyclones affecting India this year and one in the pipeline, 2019 is being dubbed as a ‘Cyclone Year’. In 2018, seven cyclones hit the country and it is being reported that 2019 is likely to surpass the previous year’s record.

The latest cyclone which is currently brewing over the Bay of Bengal has been named Bulbul. The storm is currently a low-pressure area over the North Andaman Sea and is expected to move in west-northwestward and intensify into a Depression over the east-central Bay of Bengal.

Cyclone Bulbul, which is brewing in the Bay of Bengal, is likely to hit parts of Odisha, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh by November 9. This is the seventh cyclone of 2019 which will affect India.

According to the Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre for Tropical Cyclones over North Indian Ocean (RSMCTC) of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), 2018 surpassed the Long-Period average (LPA) of cyclonic disturbances over North Indian Ocean areas. Last year had 14 such events while the annual average is 12 (1961-2017).

Of these, seven turned into tropical cyclones — much higher than the 4.5 annual average ('61-'17).

“The last such development of seven cyclones in a year occurred in 1985 (33 years back). It included two cyclonic storms, one severe cyclonic storm, three very severe cyclonic storms and one extremely severe cyclonic storm,” said RSMCTC in its analysis, featured in its annual report for 2018 and published this year in July.

The sea surface temperatures are favourable and are around 29-30 degrees Celsius. Experts foresee that this weather system will be in the deep sea for at least the next six days which will be enough for its intensification. As of now, this system is heading towards North Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coast.

“In the month of October, the Cyclones usually head towards West Bengal and Bangladesh. Further in the month of November, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha are vulnerable to these cyclones. Specifically, the North Andhra Pradesh and South Odisha coasts are more prone to cyclones. Finally, in the month of December, the Cyclones impact the Tamil Nadu region,” a report published in Sky Met Weather stated.

Severe cyclonic storm 'Maha' which is currently in the central Arabian Sea — around 640 km from Porbandar is expected to weaken as a cyclonic storm before it is expected to make landfall on the Gujarat coast on November 7, between Devbhumi-Dwarka district and Union Territory of Diu.

Cyclone Maha came just a few days after Cyclone Kyarr which turned out to be a rare super cyclone in the Arabian Sea battered parts of the Southwestern coast of India.

Bulbul will be the third cyclone in the Bay of Bengal after Cyclone Pabuk and Fani. Cyclone Pabuk was formed in the first week of January 2019 and it then lashed Andaman and Nicobar Islands and recurved towards Myanmar. Whereas, Cyclone Fani was formed in the first week of May 2019 and impacted the state of Odisha. It further impacted East and Northeast India inclusive of Kolkata.

Until now four cyclones have already been formed in the Arabian Sea, Cyclone Vayu, Cyclone Hikka, Cyclone Kyarr and now Cyclone Maha.

Cyclone Bulbul is the seventh cyclone of 2019 which will affect India. “We are already on par with 2018 when a record of seven Cyclones was made. It is very likely that in 2019 we may surpass the number of 2018. In wake of this system, torrential rains are foreseen between November 9-12 over the east coast of India especially Andhra Pradesh and Odisha,” the report added.