Tropical storm over west Pacific travelled upto Oman
Cyclone Shaheen, the offspring of Cyclone Gulab, severely battered Oman and parts of Iran on Monday morning, killing at least 10 people. Cyclone Gulab had ravaged India’s east coast on September 26, causing damages worth ₹2,000 crore.
Interestingly, the genesis of the serial cyclones was with tropical storm Dianmu, which started in the western Pacific Ocean and crossed Vietnam, Thailand and Myanmar to emerge as a feeble system in the Bay of Bengal, which then strengthened into Cyclone Gulab.
Gulab’s remnant brought widespread heavy rains to central and western India at the fag end of the monsoon, damaging standing crops. The economic impact of Cyclone Gulab is estimated to be around ₹2,000 crore, with much of it being borne by farmers, according to RMSI, a global disaster risk management firm.
As forecast by the India Meteorological Department, Gulab’s remnant emerged as a well marked low pressure area over south Gujarat and the adjoining Gulf of Khambhat. The storm gained in strength over the Arabian Sea and transformed itself in the severe Cyclone Shaheen.
The Met department had correctly predicted that after landfall, Gulab’s remnant may revive into the next cyclonic storm over the Arabian Sea.
Meteorologists are intrigued by the long life of a stormy weather system from the western Pacific that had three lives — Dianmu, Gulab and Shaheen – and did not weaken despite its long travel over the Indian subcontinent.
“Shaheen is unique because it emerged from remnant of Gulab, which had emerged from a tropical storm over west Pacific,” said Sunitha Devi, in-charge, cyclones, IMD. “There have been few such tracks in the past. There was one in 1948, for example. It is also unique because Gulab formed towards the end of the monsoon. Cyclones normally form during the post-monsoon season starting October. Over land, Gulab and its remnant behaved like a monsoon system, bringing widespread rain over central India and over Telangana and Odisha.”
IMD’s list of unique cyclone tracks lists a storm in 1921 that moved from the Pacific Ocean all the way to Oman.
“Gulab weakened to a well-marked low before intensifying into Shaheen, otherwise it would have one name, which would make it even more unusual. It’s unique, but as you can see, in 1921 also there was a similar track,” said M Mohapatra, director general, IMD.
IMD continued to issue warnings for cyclone Shaheen even when it moved away from the Indian coast because it is the regional specialised meteorological centre for north Indian Ocean and advises all countries in the region on cyclones.
“India being a specialised centre issues warnings for 13 countries as part of an advisory role under the World Meteorological Organisation,” Mohapatra said.