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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: The big cyclone breaking this morning is super cyclone Amphan has lost its 'eye'. The eastern side eyewall of cyclone Amphan is now open. The rapid consolidation of the cyclone Amphan is now facing the oceanic bumps.

But all is not doom for the super cyclone Amphan. The western eyewall is still solidly entrenched, and which is now tilted towards the coastal Odisha, reveals both the infrared and visual satellite images of cyclone Amphan. (see the image below)

Even, the Joint Typhoon Warning Centre (JTWC) has very clearly mentioned in its latest analysis that the 'eye' of cyclone Amphan is lost now. The ace forecaster attributed the rupture or opening of the eastern eye wall to easterly shear and mid-level dry air. These two factors are proving roadblocks on the path of Amphan's intensification, it outlined.   

These satellite images dropped the big clue as why cyclone Amphan will revert to being extremely severe cyclone today, and, also, why the central pressure of the system will topple the 955 hPa during the next 6 hours. The current central pressure of the system is measured at 940 hPa from 919 hPa 24 hours ago, when IMD had declared cyclone Amphan as a Super Cyclone.

Will Cyclone Amphan Lose Steam?

It seems unlikely. Though tight band of eyewalls indicate greater intensification and the vice versa, the observation of Met scientists is this happens in the category of super cyclonic storms. They say such super storm undergo eye replacement cycle, where the old eye gives way to formation of a new eye.

And during such replacement period, the storm loses its intensity and weakens little.

But they warn that it doesn't mean that the impact will be lessened in any significant way. Rather, their observation is this process undoubtedly will downgrade the category but the spread of cyclone's force winds will then spread to larger areas. In simple words, the destructive edge of the cyclone remains more or less, intact.

Cyclone Amphan will have an 'eye' replacement?

As per JTWC, the easterly shear and mid-level dry air are only primary constraints. The wind shear that is laying hurdles on Amphan's path is measured higher at 33 km/hr.

Since the system is tracking north-northeast ward, the eye will consolidate in the region where the wind will be less turbulent, Met scientists observe.

[caption id="attachment_452416" align="aligncenter" width="300"]cyclone Amphan Cyclone Amphan Strike Probability Map Source:ECMWF[/caption]

Therefore, JTWC believes that cyclone Amphan will see an eye replacement during the next 24 hours. And the warning it drops is, with a new eye, cyclone Amphan may regain its ferocity in next 24 hours.

The JTWC analysis shows post eye consolidation, the new core of cyclone Amphan will become more robust and the shear vector will also become more aligned with the storm motion, which will result in lower effective shear.

The Bottom Line

The timeline shows super cyclone Amphan will gain strength by tonight. And exactly, at this hour the super system will be moving parallel to Odisha coasts. Therefore, the time period between tonight (May 19) and tomorrow evening (landfall time) will be very crucial for Odisha.

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