Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: When IMD officially announced of Cyclone Fani re-curving towards Odisha from May 1, the shocker from Indian National Centre of Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) model reveals that Cyclone will actually make landfall between Kalingapatnam and Puri on the evening of May 3. A close analysis shows the landfall will be on Odisha side, and probably near Chattrapur.

As the cyclonic storm has been categorised as 'very severe', the devastation wrecked recently by very severe cyclonic storm Titli is still fresh in memory of peoples in Gajapati and Ganjam.

However, an analysis of INCOIS wind pattern model shows the Fani to be drifting along the entire coastal belt in the State, post the landfall. While IMD has predicted its wind speed on May 3 at around 130 - 140 and gusting up to 150Km/hour, the Joint Typhoon Warning Centre (JTWC) has predicted the wind speed at 185Km/hour and gusting up to 190Km/hour on May 3.  Now, it seems Fani will not only bring pounding rain but wrecking large-scale devastation for the State.

Moreover, if the INCOIS model's suggestion proved true, then Odisha for the first time in last 40 -years would be witnessing a cyclone making landfall in the month of May. Odisha have witnessed all - from cyclones to super cyclones - in the month of October.

The climatic fact behind is as cylonic systems are low pressure zones, they tend to move to high pressure zones. Post Monsoon and in the month of October, the Sea Surface Temperature (SST) was higher than the temperature in the landmass. For which, low pressure areas were formed in Bay of Bengal (BoB) and they move towards the high pressure zone in landmasses of Odisha or Andhra Pradesh. In contrast, during summer the temperature over the landmass in Odisha were higher than the SST in BoB.

For instance, the SST in BoB currently is around 30-31 degree Celsius. But the atmospheric temperature prevailing in Odisha is around 40 degree Celsius. As the temperature is high in Odisha, the atmospheric pressure in Odisha is currently lower. For this, weather scientists have predicted the Fani to recurve towards Bangladesh.

But the latest INCOIS model suggest different dynamics and as a consequence, the cyclonic system is likely to make landfall in Odisha on the night of May 3.

There is seemingly little chance of the system dissipating in BoB. Because, the favourable conditions in BoB are working for its intensification to a very severe cyclonic storm. An analysis reveals the sea surface temperature of  Bay of Bengal (BoB) on May 1, when Fani is to take a recurve, would be around 31 - 33 degree Celsius. The SST along the south Odisha coast on May 1 will be hovering at around 31 degree Celsius.

The direction of winds in the BoB around May 1 is predicted at around 90 degrees from north, which means they are almost vertical. The vertical wind shear is aiding Fani to take a recurve towards north.

As per Indian Metrological Department's latest bulletin, Cyclone Fani lay centered at southeast Bay of Bengal (BoB) and east Equatorial Indian Ocean, which is around 1,230Km from Machlipatnam. The IMD release has indicated the system to intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm by April 30, and after reaching near north Tamil Nadu coast and south Andhra coast, it will take a re-curve towards north from May1. IMD has predicted very heavy rain in coastal Odisha for May 2 and May 3.

Even, SRC Bhisnupada Sethi had yesterday alerted all collectors of coastal districts to remain on alert and take necessary actions to re-vitalise the cyclone infra in the State.