Low-pressure area likely to intensify into Cyclone Mocha today
It was expected to move north-northwestwards and intensify into a severe cyclonic storm by Thursday morning over the southeast and adjoining central Bay of Bengal
A low-pressure area over the Southeast Bay of Bengal and adjoining South Andaman Sea that concentrated into a depression, about 510 km southwest of Port Blair, on Tuesday evening was likely to intensify into Cyclone Mocha by Wednesday evening.
It was expected to move north-northwestwards and intensify into a severe cyclonic storm by Thursday morning over the southeast and adjoining central Bay of Bengal. Thereafter, it was likely to recurve gradually and move north-northeastwards and cross southeast Bangladesh and north Myanmar coasts between Cox’s Bazar (Bangladesh) and Kyaukpyu (Myanmar) around the forenoon of May 14 (Sunday), the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Tuesday.
“The tropical cyclone heat potential, which provides energy to the cyclone, is high near the Myanmar coast...[the] Bay of Bengal is considerably warm with sea surface temperatures of over 30 degrees C over most parts of the ocean,” said an IMD official.
“Conditions are favourable for intensification of this cyclone which is why most models are showing that it will become a very severe cyclonic storm.”
Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (Pune) climate scientist Roxy Mathew Koll said the sea surface temperatures near Myanmar are as high as the rest of the Bay of Bengal--around 30-32 degrees C or 1-2 degrees C above normal. “The subsurface conditions are also warm, but not as warm as the central Bay.”
Koll said both ocean and atmospheric conditions over the Bay of Bengal are favourable for cyclone development. “The ocean surface temperatures are anomalously warm by 1-2 degrees C and the subsurface heat is also sufficient to provide a constant supply of heat and moisture for cyclone formation and intensification.”
Fishermen, small ships, boats, and trawlers have been advised against venturing into the southeast and central Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea.
IMD has also advised regulation of tourism and offshore activities and shipping near Andaman and Nicobar Islands until May 12 and of shipping activity in the sea areas of southeast and central Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea until May 13.
Rainfall was likely at most places in Andaman and Nicobar Islands until May 11. India’s northeast is expected to record heavy rainfall during the weekend due to the impact of Mocha.