Four states – two on the west coast and two on the east— were on alert on Wednesday after weather officials predicted impact from two cyclones that are developing in the two seas surrounding the Indian subcontinent – the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal.
According to India Meteorological Department officials, the cyclones – cyclone Maha and cyclone Bulbul — in the two seas were a rare concurrent occurrence, though not unprecedented. Gujarat and Maharashtra are likely to receive rains due to Maha, while the developing cyclone Bulbul will likely affect Bengal and Odisha.
“Last year in October, we had very severe cyclone Titli in Bay of Bengal and cyclone Luban in the Arabian Sea in the same week. It is, however, uncommon to see cyclones in the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal at the same time,” said Sunita Devi, IMD scientist in-charge of cyclones.
She added that these cyclones are a result of the fact that the inter-tropical convergence zone (a narrow patch near the equator where northern and southern air masses converge) is active. “When the zone is active, lots of vortices form. Under favourable conditions like when there is enough moisture and sea surface temperature are warmer, it can lead to formation of cyclones. The Arabian Sea is very active this year,” Devi added.
The very severe cyclonic storm over west-central and adjoining east-central Arabian Sea moved nearly eastwards and weakened into a severe cyclonic storm and is located at about 400 km west-southwest of Porbandar in Gujarat. “It is very likely to move nearly eastwards, weaken into a cyclonic storm by November 6 evening. Thereafter, it is likely to move east-northeastwards, weaken further into a deep depression by early morning of November 7… it is very likely to skirt Saurashtra coast and lie centered about 40 km south of Diu as a deep depression,” IMD said.
There will be light to moderate rain in several parts of Gujarat and Maharashtra on November 7 due to Maha. The deep depression over Bay of Bengal which is at 390 km west-northwest of Maya Bandar, Andaman Islands is likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm by November 7.
There will be light to moderate rainfall in many parts of Odisha and West Bengal from November 9 to 11. The two systems, however, are likely to help ease air pollution, which spread from north India to parts of east and central India, officials said.