Cyclone Gulab started making landfall between Odisha and Andhra Pradesh around 6pm on Sunday, too far from the Bengal coast to have any significant impact in Kolkata and adjoining areas.
On Sunday, the appearance of dark clouds over the city was followed by a brief spell of rain. The Met office said it was a “local thundershower”.
The city is bracing for heavy rain between Tuesday and Wednesday, when another system from the Bay of Bengal hits land along the Bengal coast.
The landfall started around 6pm and lasted late into the night.
The core of the storm crossed land 20km north of Kalingapatnam in north Andhra Pradesh, between 7.30pm and 8.30pm, said a Met bulletin. Kalingapatnam is over 750km from Kolkata.
The previous cyclone on the Bay, Yaas, had hit land near Balasore in Odisha, over 250km from Kolkata, on May 26. Gulab generated wind speeds of 95kmph during landfall.
“The intensity of Gulab was much lesser than Yaas and Amphan,” a Met official said.
The storm is slated to move west-northwest, into Chhattisgarh, losing steam as it travels. “The storm can move along central India and reach the western coast,” said a Met official.
A giant thundercloud that had drifted away from the remains of Cyclone Yaas reached the skies over Kolkata a day after the storm’s landfall, unleashing torrential rain in the city.
“Yaas was a much bigger system than Gulab, which is unlikely to send a breakaway cloud mass so big that it can cause heavy rain in south Bengal 24 hours after landfall,” said the Met official.
Another cyclonic circulation is likely to take shape closer to the Bengal coast by Monday. It is tipped to intensify into a low-pressure area and reach the Bengal coast on Wednesday.
The proximity to the Bengal coast makes the cyclonic circulation more likely to have a substantial impact in Kolkata and the rest of south Bengal.
“The system is slated to form over the northeast and adjoining east-central Bay. Northwest Bay is closer to the Odisha coast and northeast Bay is closer to the Bengal and Bangladesh coast,” said the Met official.
Rain in city
The alert from the Met office in Alipore warned of an “increase in rainfall activity” in south Bengal on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The city and adjoining areas were battered by torrential rain at the start of last week. Some areas recorded over 200mm in 36 hours.
The downpour was triggered by the merger of two cyclonic circulations into one powerful system that was right over Kolkata for a long time.
“How much rain the city gets because of the new system depends on its location. But at least one heavy spell is likely,” said a Met official.