The India Meteorological Department (IMD) Sunday confirmed the development of Cyclone Asani over the southeast regions of Bay of Bengal, the first storm in the North Indian Ocean region in 2022.
Cyclone Asani is set to further intensify by two stages by Monday morning. It is likely to strengthen into a very severe cyclonic storm (wind speed 118 to 220 km/hr) and remain over the east-central Bay of Bengal region. As per the projected cyclone movement track released by the IMD, the storm will reach close to the Andhra Pradesh-Odisha coast by Tuesday. It is unlikely to make a landfall and it could skirt the coastal districts of these states during the next two days.
If realised, cyclone Asani could trace a similar path like cyclone Jawad that developed in the Bay of Bengal and swerved past close to south Odisha in December last year.
Cyclone Asani has been displaying rapid intensification while at sea, indicating the extent of warming of the Bay of Bengal this time of the year. In fact, the active low pressure system that prevailed over this region of Bay of Bengal had rapidly intensified at least three stages on Saturday – first into a well-marked low pressure system, a depression and into a deep depression by night.
According to the IMD’s observations at 5.30 am on Sunday, the cyclone had, during the past six hours, moved west-northwestwards at a speed of 16 km/hr. Its latest location was about 450 km west-northwest of Car Nicobar, 380 km west of Port Blair, 970 km southeast of Visakhapatnam and 1,030 km south-southeast of Puri in Odisha.
“Cyclone Asani is very likely to continue to move northwestwards till Tuesday evening and reach west-central and adjoining Northwest Bay of Bengal region, off north Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coasts. Thereafter, it is very likely to recurve north-north-eastwards and move towards northwest Bay of Bengal, off Odisha coast,” said the IMD’s cyclone bulletin issued on Sunday morning.
The Met department has said that Andaman and Nicobar islands will receive heavy to very rainfall (64.4mm to 204.4mm in 24 hours) on Sunday. Odisha has been put on a high alert ahead of the heavy rainfall (64.4mm to 115.5mm in 24 hours) forecast on Tuesday and Wednesday. Under the influence of the system in the Bay of Bengal, thunderstorms, lightning and light rain are forecast over Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Sikkim till May 12.
Starting Sunday, winds with packing speeds starting 45 km/hour, reaching a maximum of 90 km/hour are expected on May 10 and 11 over central Bay of Bengal. In view of the approaching cyclone and rough sea conditions, the IMD has issued a warning for the fishing community against venturing into the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal during the next three days.