IMD scales down alert for Gujarat coast

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has scaled down the alert for the coastal areas of Gujarat, with weather prediction models showing signs that the very severe cyclonic storm over the Arabian Sea is weakening.

Earlier on Wednesday, the models had indicated that the storm may intensify while hovering over the Arabian Sea, initially moving towards the Oman coast in a north or north-westerly direction, and then re-curve north-eastwards and move back towards Pakistan and adjoining Gujarat coast.

In a sharp contrast, a day later the models showed that the cyclone was weakening, and that it would cross the Oman coast, move along that coast for a while, getting weakened further in the process and then emerge into the north-west Arabian Sea by Saturday morning and move towards the Pakistan coast.

As per the new advice, squally winds with speed reaching 40-50 kmph, gusting 60 kmph would occur along and off the Gujarat coast during the next two days. The earlier alert had warned that squally winds with speed reaching 65-75 km, gusting 85 kmph would commence along and off the Gujarat coast from Thursday and intensify gradually.

According to the new alert, the sea condition along and off the Gujarat coast and adjoining north Arabian Sea will not be as bad as was predicted. On the monsoon front, because of the cyclone system, monsoon activity over the western part of the country continues to remain subdued and it is expected to remain so for the next two days, even as there was good activity in the north-eastern region. The situation is, however, expected to change for the better next week once the cyclonic storm dies off.

Speaking to The Hindu, a senior meteorologist said that monsoon activity should revive from about June 9. A fresh spell could start from Kerala and move northwards at a pace of about 100 km a day over the next 10 days. That would cover the entire peninsular region as well as parts of central India. It would also give a fresh thrust to the activity in the north-east. “There is absolutely nothing to worry. There will be no repeat of Aila.”

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