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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: With IMD finally confirming the birth of season's first pre-Monsoon cyclone Amphan today, will Odisha see a Fani redux this May?

While IMD is still to release the track details of cyclone Amphan, the conditions in Bay of Bengal drop some big hints. And various Met models predict that cyclone Amphan will head for landfall in Bangladesh.

However, enroute to Bangladesh, cyclone Amphan will leave its shadow imprints on Odisha. Met models show Paradip -Jagatsinghpur, Puri  and Balasore will bear the maximum brunt in the State. The prediction is wind gusting at 90 km/hr will lash the port city on the morning hours of May 20. Gusting winds at a speed of over 70 km/hr will sweep the temple city Puri on the night of May 19.

The predictions show while the coastal areas in Odisha ranging from Puri to Balasore will record heavy rains induced by the cyclonic storm Amphan. Interior places adjacent to coastal areas like Bhubaneswar and Cuttack will witness moderate rainfall and wind speed will be in the range of 50 km/hour, predicts the model of world's most accurate cyclone forecaster European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecast (ECMWF).  (see the image below)

As per ECMWF, initially, the cyclone Amphan will hurtle towards Bangladesh with a wind intensity of 250 km/hour, but later its wind intensity will be greatly reduced when it reaches north Bay of Bengal due to higher wind shear. The prediction is during landfall, the wind gust would be at around 220 km/hour.

The US-GFS model also shows wind impact on Odisha will be lesser. But the cyclone Amphan will be moving over Bay of Bengal packed with a higher wind velocity of around 45 knots (not gust speed). The GFS model assigns a high value to the vorticity of cyclone Amphan, which explains its severity. (see the image below)

Lead Met models are also having a unanimity over the landfall place and date of the cyclone Amphan.

While stating today that the low pressure area (LOPAR) formed over south east Bay of Bengal (BoB) and adjoining south Andaman sea will concentrate into a depression over central parts of BoB on May 15, and will then develop into a cyclonic storm by the evening of May 16,  IMD further added that after initially moving northwest wards till May 17th, the cyclonic system will take a re-curve and head towards north-northeast wards thereafter.

The direction which IMD hints at is Bangladesh and north Myanmar. (see the image below)

India's premier ocean research agency INCOIS and world's top cyclone forecaster ECMWF predicts the landfall place as Bangladesh. But US-GFS predicts the landfall place as north Myanmar. However, there is a complete unanimity over the date of landfall. The predicted date is May 20.

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