The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on May 3 said that a cyclone could likely form at the Bay of Bengal by early next week, however its strength, direction and impact on India was yet to gauged.
“A cyclonic circulation is likely to develop over southeast Bay of Bengal around May 6…there is a possibility of the circulation to move northwards towards Central Bay of Bengal,” the IMD said in a statement. “Further details will be given after the low-pressure is formed.”
A low-pressure area is usually a pre-cursor to the development of a cyclone, and according to IMD’s calculations, it is expected to take shape on May 7.
A preliminary analysis available on the IMD website based on its weather models suggests that the cyclone could form by May 9 and grow to a ‘severe cyclonic storm’ by May 10.
The IMD has a five-step classification for cyclones with the relatively weakest classified as a ‘cyclonic storm’ (65-68 kmph) and the strongest a ‘super cyclonic storm.’ (>222 kmph). A ‘severe cyclonic storm’ (89-117 kmph) is just one step above a ‘cyclonic storm.’
Depending on the location of the storm and existing weather conditions it’s possible for the storm to gain or reduce in strength. Cyclones are more frequent in India’s neighbourhood around May, October and November – or coincident with the advent and departure of the monsoon respectively.
This will be the first cyclone to form this year and it will be called Cyclone Mocha. The name was proposed by Yemen - after the Red Sea port city - following an international convention of naming cyclones.
M. Mohapatra, Director-General, IMD, said that while greater clarity on the cyclone would only emerge later, the current warnings were for fishermen. “Sea faring vessels and the fishing community should avoid the waters of south-east Bay of Bengal after the 7th because it will be turbulent.”