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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: Even as IMD has confirmed the evolution of first pre-monsoon cyclone in Bay of Bengal (BoB) this year, the country's premier weather forecaster is yet to open its card on the date of landfall.

The latest bulletin by IMD says, " Low Pressure area is very likely to form over south Andaman Sea and neighbourhood around 30th April. It is very likely to become more marked and concentrate into a depression during subsequent 48 hours (by May 2). It is very likely to move north-northwestwards initially and then north-northeastwards along Andaman & Nicobar Islands towards Myanmar coast during 30th April – 3rd May."

However, some lead Met forecasters from around the world now predict that the Low Pressure Area will develop on and around May 1. And the cyclonic system will take nearly 5-6  days to make a landfall in Myanmar on May 6-7. IMD is yet to declare the landfall date.

The lead forecasters like US-based NOAA's GFS model and ICON model of German Weather Service and Max Planck Institute of Meteorolgy, Hamburg, predict the landfall date as May 7. Contrarily, the US Navy's NAVGEM model predicts the landfall date as May 5.

India's top ocean and weather system research body Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology's (IITM) numerical model also predicts the landfall date as May 5.

Since the first cyclone of 2020 in BoB is to skirt and chart a track away from Odisha, the state is not going to bear the brunt of the cyclone, unlike that of Fani last year.

While IMD's extended forecast for the State till May 5 predicts fairly widespread rainfall and thunderstorms at isolated places in Odisha, the wind model of NAVGEM, a model developed by US Naval Research, quite clearly outlines the impact of cyclone on Odisha. (see the three images).

[caption id="attachment_447890" align="alignnone" width="650"]Navgem model Odisha impact Impact on Odisha as cyclone nears Myanmar coast[/caption]

As per NAVGEM, Odisha's coastal areas will witness a squally type of weather on May 5 and 6. The prediction is the wind speed will be in the range of 30-25 knots or 55-45 Km/hour. The sea will remain very rough during May 5-6, it added. NAVGEM predicts the landfall date on May 5-6

[caption id="attachment_447891" align="alignnone" width="650"]Cyclone impact on Odisha Rainfall forecast in Odisha when cyclone nears Myanmar coast[/caption]

As per GFS forecast (see the image above), rainfall is predicted in north coastal areas, especially Bhadrak, Balasore and even parts of Mayurbhanj adjoining to the coastal districts.

[caption id="attachment_447892" align="alignnone" width="650"]Cyclone impact on Odisha Left: Rainfall forecast when cyclone nears Myanmar, Right: Impact on Odisha during landfall[/caption]

The model of India's premier weather research unit, IITM, shows how little impact the evolving cyclone will have on Odisha. However, a look at the model (see the image above) shows a clear prediction (denoted in green colour) of some rainfall activities over the north coastal places like Balasore and Bhadrak on May 5 and 6.

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