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Low pressure area in Bay of Bengal may intensify into cyclonic storm by May 8, says IMD


BHUBANESWAR: The low pressure area formed over the south Andaman Sea and adjoining south-east Bay of Bengal on Friday is likely to take the form of a cyclonic storm by Sunday evening.

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the system is expected to move north-westwards, intensify into a depression by Saturday evening and further into a cyclone in the subsequent 24 hours.

The system is likely to continue to move north-westwards and reach west-central Bay of Bengal off the north Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coasts by Tuesday. "Further path of the system can be ascertained after it intensifies into a depression," said Bhubaneswar Meteorological Centre scientist Umasankar Das.

Private weather forecaster Skymet on Friday said that the probability of the storm coming closer to the north Andhra Pradesh and south Odisha coasts is growing large and thereafter, the statistical records of climatology leaves two possible trajectories for the cyclone.

"The first scenario takes the storm for a direct strike over bordering areas of north coastal Andhra Pradesh and south Odisha. The alternate trajectory, albeit equally strong, can make the storm re-curve to run parallel to the coastline of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha and head for West Bengal and Bangladesh," said Skymet.

An observation period of about 48 hours to 72 hours is needed to provide a clear prediction, it added.

Ocean heat potential is a major contributor towards growth of storms. Currently, the entire Bay of Bengal is hotter than normal and the sea surface temperature is in excess of 30 degrees Celsius.

The excessive heat potential of the sea surface can increase the severity, more than gauged by the models. Vertical wind shear remains moderate and unlikely to suppress further expansion. Climatological features suggest cyclone formation over the area may be earlier than expected, the private weather forecaster further said.