A low-pressure area over the South Andaman Sea is expected to intensify into a cyclone by Sunday, the Met office has said. According to a Met bulletin on Friday, Kolkata is likely to get heavy rain and thunderstorms between May 10 and 13.
Here’s what is known, and what’s not, about the impending storm
Q: Where is the system now?
A: On Friday, the system was in the form of a low-pressure area over the South Andaman Sea and southeast Bay of Bengal, over 1,000km from Bengal.
Q: What are the next likely stages?
A: The system will turn into a depression by Saturday and a cyclone by Sunday, according to the forecast. “The system is very likely to move northwestwards and intensify into a depression over the southeast Bay of Bengal by May 7 evening and into a cyclonic storm over the east-central Bay of Bengal by May 8 evening. It is very likely to continue to move northwestwards and reach the westcentral and adjoining northwest Bay of Bengal, off North Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coasts, on May 10,” said a Met bulletin on Friday afternoon.
Q: Does that mean it will make landfall between Andhra Pradesh and Odisha?
A: Not necessarily. “There are several possibilities. The cyclone might take a recurve and move towards Bangladesh. It might weaken because of hot and dry northwesterly winds in the middle levels of the atmosphere. More clarity will emerge by Sunday,” said G.K. Das, director, India Meteorological Department, Kolkata.
Q: What is the likely impact on Bengal?
A: Gangetic Bengal, including Kolkata, is likely to get heavy rain between May 10 and 13. There is a strong possibility of powerful thunderstorms in Kolkata from May 10, said Met officials. The actual impact will depend on the course of the storm.
Q: What will be the cyclone called?
A: If the system turns into a cyclone, it will be called Asani, a name given by Sri Lanka. In Sinhalese, Asani means wrath.
Q: What’s with cyclones and May?
A: If the system turns into a cyclone, it will be the third on the Bay in May in three successive years — Amphan in May 2020 and Yaas in May 2021. Met officials said the warm sea-surface conditions in May are ideal for the formation of cyclones.