Nisarga, first tropical cyclone since 1891 that may hit Maharashtra coast during June

As the India Meteorological Department (IMD) confirmed on Sunday that weather system in the Arabian Sea would intensify into a tropical cyclone, experts said it would be a rare event for Mumbai and Maharashtra coast in June.

As per IMD’s Cyclone E-Atlas, a repository that tracks tropical cyclones and weather depressions over the north Indian Ocean since 1891, no weather system has turned into a cyclone and made landfall near Mumbai or along the Maharashtra coast during June.

“Only two depressions, in 1948 and 1980, have come close but never turned into a tropical cyclone during June, indicate records,” said Akshay Deoaras, an independent meteorologist and PhD researcher at the University of Reading, UK.

“Stronger than usual winds and rain are expected at the coast of Maharashtra on June 2 evening and in the first half of June 3. As the warning period will be less, disaster preparedness in coastal areas is immediately advisable,” he added.

While IMD is yet to declare the landfall site for the cyclone, private weather forecasting agency Skymet said landfall is expected over north Maharashtra and south Gujarat border.

“It will be a cyclonic storm that will move rapidly over these regions leading to intense showers but the weather system will not intensify into a severe or extremely severe cyclone. South Gujarat and north Konkan, including Mumbai, will receive maximum rain on June 3 and the situation will improve thereafter,” said Mahesh Palawat, vice president (meteorology and climate change), Skymet, adding that rain over the city can cause localised flooding.

According to weather models, rain will commence over the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) from June 1, mainly in the form of passing showers. On June 2 and the first half of June 3, there will be persistent rainfall along with winds. “The highest intensity is expected between June 2 evening and the morning of June 3. The weather will start normalising from the second half of June 3, after which mostly clear skies and humid weather conditions will continue in Mumbai,” said Deoras.

He added it was still unclear whether the weather system would finally develop into a tropical cyclone. “Though there is a consensus among weather models regarding the intensification and track of this low-pressure system, there is considerable uncertainty regarding the low-pressure’s peak intensity. Only the very recent forecasts have suggested the formation of a strong tropical cyclone,” he said.

Source : Hindustan Times

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