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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Explained: Cyclone Asani is on the way, but it won’t be another Fani or Amphan. Here’s why

Systems formed in the Bay of Bengal during May, the peak of summer, are among the strongest ones to form in the North Indian Ocean region.

Written by Anjali Marar , Edited by Explained Desk | Pune |
Updated: May 31, 2022 11:16:24 am
Fishermen cover their boats in the wake of Cyclone Asani, in Puri on Monday. (Photo: PTI)

The severe cyclonic storm Asani lay 550 km southeast of Visakhapatnam and 680 km south-southeast of Puri at 5.30 am on Monday (May 9), and was moving towards the Andhra Pradesh-Odisha coast at about 25 km/h, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

Asani is the first cyclone of 2022 formed in the North Indian Ocean region comprising the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea. The name Asani, given by Sri Lanka, means wrath in the Sinhala language.

Asani is unlike cyclones Fani (April-May 2019) or Amphan (May 2020)

Systems formed over the Bay of Bengal in the peak of summer in May are among the strongest in the North Indian Ocean region. Warm seas present ripe conditions for cyclogenesis, and to fuel these systems over the water.

The ‘Extremely Severe’ cyclone Fani and ‘Super cyclone’ Amphan wreaked havoc in Odisha and West Bengal respectively. Cyclone Asani by contrast, is expected to only graze the coast, and not make landfall. Its anticipated recurving behaviour upon reaching close to the south Odisha coast will likely be similar to that of cyclone Jawad, even though Asani’s track does not match with that of Jawad’s, which was formed in the Bay of Bengal last December.

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Cyclone Asani has been intensifying rapidly

A low-pressure system, which is the first stage of a cyclone, formed over southeast Bay of Bengal adjacent to the Andaman Sea on May 6. Less than 24 hours later, on May 7, this system had gone through three stages of intensification — climbing from well-marked low pressure to depression to deep depression. Such rapid intensification while the system is at sea is rare.

By early Sunday (May 8) morning, cyclone Asani had developed and was moving north-westwards towards India’s east coast. By evening on the same day, the storm had intensified further into a ‘severe’ cyclone, packing wind speeds of 100 to 110 km/ hour.

The projected path of Cyclone Asani.

As the seas get rough, Andhra and Odisha will get rain that will intensify over the next few days

As cyclone Asani nears the coast, rainfall activities will pick up accompanied by gale winds mainly along the coasts of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. Fishermen have been advised not to venture into sea from May 11 onward until the storm dissipates. Sea conditions closer to the coast will start getting rough from Monday (May 9).

* In Odisha, the districts of Gajapati, Ganjam, and Puri will receive light to moderate rainfall from Tuesday evening, and heavy rainfall (70 mm to 100 mm in 24 hours) at isolated places in these districts. Along with these districts, rainfall will continue and spread to Jagatsinghpur, Khorda, and Cuttack districts on Wednesday. On Thursday, rainfall will continue over Puri, Cuttack, and Jagatsinghpur along with Bhadrak, Balasore and Kendrapara districts.

Squally winds with speeds ranging between 40 to 50 km/ hr gusting to 60 km/ hr will prevail off the Odisha coast on Wednesday and Thursday.

* In Andhra Pradesh, Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram districts will receive heavy rainfall until May 12. Thunder and lightning are forecast for the districts of Godavari, Srikakulam, Prakasam, Kurnool, and Ananthapuram over the next four days.

But these states will likely escape the full brunt of the storm

The IMD has said that Asani is unlikely to cross over into land.

As per the projected track and latest forecasts, the storm will continue to move northwestwards towards the north Andhra Pradesh-Odisha coast until Tuesday, and is expected to then recurve — skirting these states, and moving in the north-northeastward direction away from India’s coastline.

Between Tuesday and Thursday, Asani will weaken into the ‘cyclone’ with speeds of 60 km/ h to 80 km/ hr, and weaken further into a deep depression and then a depression by May 12.

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