Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: Now, it seems pretty clear that the extremely severe cyclonic storm Fani will make landfall in the Puri district on Friday (May 3). However, the guessing game on the particular place and time of landfall is still on.

While the latest Indian National Centre of Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) model predict the land fall to the south of Puri after passing at a kissing distance from Gopalpur and Chilika (see the pictures), the office of SRC has pinpointed the place of landfall as Balukhanda, which is to the north of Puri .

Fani also keeps guessing on the time of arrival to the Puri landmass. Though IMD has predicted it by afternoon of Friday (May 3), the drop in the pace of 'Fani' to around 6 Km/hr at 9 AM today from 22 Km/hr yesterday, indicates the time of landfall to the south of Puri will be in the evening hours (5:30 -7 PM) of Friday (May 3). The caveat, however, is the time of landfall will get delayed if pace of 'Fani' slows down further.

As per the latest INCOIS model, the extremely severe cyclonic storm Fani on Friday morning (5:30AM) will skirt Gopalpur at a kissing distance (see the picture below).


And will give a miss to Chilika at around 11:30 AM to move on to make landfall at around the evening hours of 5:30 PM on Friday (May 3) (see the picture below).

Moreover, the snail's pace movement aids intensification of 'Fani'. The Joint Typhoon Warning Centre (JTWC) has upgraded intensity of 'Fani' to T 5.0 - 6.0 today from T4.7 - 5.0 last night. The wind speed during land fall has been upgraded to 160 - 210 Km/hr by JTWC.

Significantly, last evening JTWC had predicted 'Fani' to skirt east coast of India (Odisha) and make landfall near Sagar Islands (West Bengal).

But since last night JTWC has revised its landfall place. It has now predicted the landfall at Puri in Odisha. The JTWC analysis explains why 'Fani' didn't move towards West Bengal.

As per JTWC, the subtropical ridge over Bangladesh which was actually guiding the track of 'Fani' has started eroding owing to an approaching shortwave 'Trough'.

Troughs are an air flow pattern that moves from west to east and has a bulge towards southern end. The troughs are a cool air aloft. In contrast, the sub tropical ridges have a bulge towards northern end having high atmospheric pressure. The high pressure is due to the air flowing from equator towards poles get build up at a certain location, When the air starts sinking, it develops high pressure and is termed as sub tropical ridge.

Following the erosion of this high atmospheric pressure ridge, 'Fani' didn't track the West Bengal and Bangladesh way, explained JTWC.

As the fury of 'Fani' will be on Odisha, the maximum brunt will be borne by districts like Puri (place of landfall). Puri district will witness rainfall in excess of over 204 mm.

However, the maximum sea wave height is predicted for Gopalpur. As per INCOIS - IMD joint bulletin,  sea along Ganjam will see a significant wave height of 3.0 - 8.7 meter over 10 Km area. And the swell height is predicted the highest of 2.5 - 6.5 metre in Ganjam. This analysis by INCOIS shows there is high possibility of sea water ingress in low lying areas in Ganjam.

Puri district will witness large-scale sea water inundation on Friday as the district is forecast to see second highest wave height surge and swell height on land fall day.

The INCOIS forecast also reveals that squally wind speed reaching 40-50 kmph gusting to 60 kmph is very likely to commence along & off Odisha Coasts from Thursday (2nd May) and very likely to become gale wind speed reaching 60-70 kmph gusting to 85 kmph from Friday (3rd May) morning and become 175-185 kmph gusting to 205 kmph over Odisha Coast during landfall.