Titli effect delayed, rain alert today

The storm is set to “recurve” towards Bengal by Friday morning in the form of a depression and bring downpour, accompanied by a breeze, to the southern part of the state

By Rith Basu in Calcutta
  • Published 12.10.18, 2:31 AM
  • Updated 12.10.18, 2:31 AM
  • 2 mins read
  •  
Uprooted trees at a village in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh moments after Titli made landfall on Thursday morning. AFP

Titli crashed into Andhra Pradesh at 140kmph early on Thursday, triggering heavy rain in the state and neighbouring Odisha but sparing Calcutta for the time being.

The storm is set to “recurve” towards Bengal by Friday morning in the form of a depression and bring downpour, accompanied by a breeze, to the southern part of the state. The rain is likely to continue in bursts till Saturday afternoon.

“The rainfall is likely to reduce on Sunday and from Monday, Sashthi, the sky is set to clear up. The rest of the festive week is expected to be rainless,” an official in the weather department said.

Titli, meaning butterfly, made landfall between 4.30am and 5.30am, with the eye of the storm passing through Palasa in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh at 140kmph.

The weather station in Odisha’s Gopalpur recorded a windspeed of 126kmph.

Sun peeps through a thin veil of cloud over Calcutta on Thursday afternoon.
Sun peeps through a thin veil of cloud over Calcutta on Thursday afternoon. Picture by Pradip Sanyal

The cyclone claimed eight lives in Andhra Pradesh, according to PTI.

Titli was moving in a north-westerly direction over the Bay of Bengal and continued to follow the trajectory even after landfall at a pace of 13kmph. According to the India Meteorological Department’s calculations, the storm will take a sharp right turn late on Thursday or by Friday morning, moving closer to Bengal.

Once that happens, rain is likely to start in Bengal.

“Throughout Friday, Titli is expected to travel towards Calcutta. It is likely to pass over south Bengal on Saturday on its way to Bangladesh. So, the most intense showers in the wake of the storm is expected in Calcutta on Saturday,” said Sanjib Bandyopadhyay, deputy director general, India Meteorological Department, Calcutta.

Titli degenerated from a very severe cyclone to a severe cyclone around 2.30pm. It was steadily losing strength and set to become a cyclonic storm during the night.

By the time it arrives in Bengal, it will probably be a depression.

“The rate of degeneration will not be very fast because the storm will be moving along the coast, drawing moisture from the Bay during most of its journey,” a weather scientist said.

“The city is expected to get up to 200mm of rain on Saturday, which in Met parlance is called very heavy rain.”

Meteorologists had initially expected that the maximum effect of Titli in terms of rainfall would be on Thursday but they were stumped by a sudden change in the behaviour of the storm.

“Titli had been absolutely motionless over the Bay for a few hours on Wednesday morning, which we hadn’t expected. That’s when we realised it would become stronger. And it did become stronger,” said Bandyopadhyay.

Rain is not expected on the Puja days as there are no other weather systems over the Bay or on land around Calcutta and none is likely to form shortly.

Storm tracker

Landfall: Palasa in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh
Peak wind speed: 140kmph

Time: Between 4.30am and 5.30am 

What happened on Thursday?

It kept moving north-westwards and lost steam to become a severe cyclonic storm

Forecast for Calcutta?

Storm set to turn towards Bengal by Friday morning

On Saturday, it is likely to pass over Bengal on its way to Bangladesh

Intense rain in spells is expected on Friday and Saturday

Rain to reduce by Sunday