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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: Amidst the gripping COVID crisis in the country, the Bay of Bengal has been seemingly brewing up another horror tale. The birth of season's first pre-monsoon cyclone Amphan looks very much a possibility with some certain impact on Indian coasts (Andhra-Odisha).

A major development which IMD today confirmed is the birth process of Cyclone Amphan will begin from May 13, and it subsequently getting more marked by May 16.

Moreover, the big signal the Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre (RSMC), Delhi, which is recognised by World Meteorological Organisation to track all cyclones in north Indian ocean, has given today is the conditions will turn favourable for birth of the cyclone, to be named as Amphan, in Bay of Bengal (BoB) during May 16-18.

However, the RSMC's, specialist cyclone tracking unit of IMD, synoptic weather analysis is quite discreet about the track of the likely cyclone Amphan in due course. It only said, "At present there is no unanimity among the various Met models with respect to the track of Cyclone Amphan."

It seems the genesis of cyclone Amphan has turned into a riddle. There is a virtual disagreement between the models of two premier ocean and weather research agencies of Government of India- INCOIS and NCMRWF - over the formation and track of Cyclone Amphan.

The variance in prediction on Cyclone Amphan has extended even to the world stage. World's top two cyclone tracking organisations differ on cyclone Amphan's track. But both have a unanimity over formation of cyclone Amphan between May 16-18.

A look at the model predictions brings no enthusiasm for the country and Odisha. The predictions by Government of India's premier ocean research arm INCOIS and world's most accurate cyclone forecaster ECMWF show cyclone Amphan will be fast hurtling towards north Andhra coasts (Vishakapatnam-Kalingapatnam) with some significant impact on southern Odisha.

Cyclone Amphan track

INCOIS: As per the observation and prediction of this lead ocean research agency of India, cyclone Amphan will take shape on May 16 (see the image) near Tamil Nadu coasts, and will then gradually move north wards to make landfall in the north Andhra coasts (around Vishakapatnam-Kalingapatnam). And southern Odisha is going to absorb some significant impact of Amphan. (see the image above)

Birth of cyclone Amphan

ECMWF: Strangely, the world's most accurate cyclone forecaster prediction seems in sync with India's INCOIS. The forecast also shows that the north Andhra coasts are going to bear the brunt of cyclone Amphan. The images show heavy rain impact on Odisha, especially southern coasts. (see the main image)

[caption id="attachment_450475" align="aligncenter" width="650"]Cyclone Amphan strike chart Dark yellow colour stands for higher probability than red colour[/caption]

US-GFS: The prediction by this second most accurate cyclone forecaster holds hope. Though it shows formation of cyclone Amphan in the Bay of Bengal around the same time (May 16), it tracks Amphan going the Myanmar way. (see the image below).

[caption id="attachment_450477" align="aligncenter" width="650"]Cyclone Amphan US-GFS US-GFS shows cyclone Amphan tracking to Myanmar[/caption]

NCUM: The model of Government of India's ace climate tracking agency, National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF), shows formation of low but no intensification of the same to cyclone Amphan.

IMD-GFS: Says cyclone Amphan will take birth but will go the Myanmar way.

The Synopsis: Except one, almost all the models are unanimous over the birth of cyclone Amphan. But divergence has been clearly observed over Amphan's route chart. However, the haze over cyclone Amphan's route will become clear by this weekend. Still then, everyone has to keep their fingers crossed!

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