Cyclone Remal to Make Landfall Over West Bengal Coast

Cyclone Remal to Make Landfall Over West Bengal Coast: After a hiatus of nearly six months, the Bay of Bengal is once again brewing up a storm, this time in the form of Cyclone Remal! According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), a low-pressure area formed on May 22 is expected to evolve into a deep depression by the morning of May 24. This system is set to traverse northeastwards, with its eye set on making landfall along the West Bengal coast by Sunday evening, maintaining considerable strength throughout its journey.

Current location and trajectory

As per the latest update from IMD, the low-pressure area initially spotted over the southwest and adjoining west-central Bay of Bengal has veered northeastwards. Currently positioned over the west-central and adjoining southwest Bay of Bengal, the system boasts an associated cyclonic circulation extending up to 7.6 km above mean sea level. It will likely further intensify and reach the northeast and adjoining northwest Bay of Bengal before making landfall on Sunday (May 26).

Factors driving the development

So far, forecast models have offered divergent predictions regarding Cyclone Remal’s path and intensity.

  • The Global Forecast System (GFS) anticipates a potential escalation into a Severe Cyclonic Storm (SCS) or Very Severe Cyclonic Storm (VSCS) as it heads northwestwards towards eastern India
  • European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) foresees a weaker system, possibly remaining a depression due to upper cold air flows, and charting a northward trajectory towards Bangladesh or northeastern India.
  • The Weather Channel’s meteorological team suggests the possibility of a cyclone forming and making landfall over West Bengal, but the chances of it intensifying into a severe or very severe cyclonic storm are slim.

Irrespective of these predictions, warm sea-surface temperatures ranging from 28-29°C and low vertical wind shear, have been observed. These conditions will help the cyclone maintain its structure, enhancing the likelihood of its persistence and potential intensification.

Anticipated impact

Cyclone Remal will dump scattered to fairly widespread light to moderate rainfall accompanied by thunderstorms, lightning, and gusty winds (30-40 kmph) over Gangetic West Bengal this week. Additionally, isolated to scattered rainfall is on the cards for Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand, Sub-Himalayan West Bengal, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, and Tripura.

Further, light to moderate rainfall with isolated heavy downpours may batter Odisha’s Balasore district from May 25-27, West Bengal’s North and South 24 Parganas and East Medinipur, Mizoram, Tripura and South Manipur on May 25-26, and Assam, Meghalaya, and Arunachal Pradesh on May 26.

IMD issues advisory

Given the rough weather conditions, the IMD has issued advisories for fisherfolk along the north Odisha and West Bengal coasts, urging them to return to shore by Thursday. Further, they have been advised to avoid venturing into the south Bay of Bengal until May 24, the central Bay of Bengal until May 26, and the North Bay of Bengal from May 24 until the morning of May 27.

Meanwhile, residents have been urged to avoid visiting shore waters and protect themselves from inclement weather.

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