The formation of Cyclone Nisarga on Tuesday is only the second time since 1902 that a cyclone has developed over the Arabian Sea in June in two consecutive years.
In June 2019, Cyclone Vayu had formed in the Arabian Sea between June 10 and 17.
As of 5.30 pm Tuesday, Cyclone Nisarga was located 380 km south-southwest of Mumbai. It is expected to make landfall near Alibag on Wednesday afternoon.
According to cyclone frequency records maintained by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), cyclones were reported in June 1902 and 1903, the only other instance when two consecutive Junes reported cyclones in the Arabian Sea.
IMD classifies a cyclone when the maximum wind speed is 35 knots (70–80 kmph gusting to 90 kmph) or more.
According to the IMD’s cyclone data records of the last 129 years, there have been 26 cyclonic storms that formed here in June.
Exceptionally, June 1907 and June 2007 recorded two cyclonic storms in the same month. In both instances, one cyclone in each year later intensified into a Severe Cyclonic Storm (SCS).
The cyclones in June were recorded in 1895, 1902, 1903, 1907 (2), 1917, 1920, 1930, 1935, 1946, 1948, 1959, 1961, 1964, 1973, 1977, 1979, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2007 (2), 2015, 2019 and the latest being Nisarga.
Sea conditions are often unfavourable to the development of cyclones in June because of the cooler sea surface temperatures, which is one of the main drivers of cyclone formation, and its coincidence with the onset of monsoon, meteorologists said. This explains why cyclones in June are fewer in number.
Records show that 15 SCS developed in the Arabian Sea between 1891 and 2019. Winds associated with SCS range at a maximum speed of 48 knots (85–95 kmph gusting to 105 kmph) or more.
Historically, SCS in June over the Arabian Sea were recorded in 1902, 1903, 1907, 1920, 1946, 1948, 1961, 1964, 1977, 1979, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2007 and 2019.
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