Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 1:
True to forecasts, a low-pressure area has formed over South China Sea and adjoining Gulf of Thailand, an India Met Department (IMD) update said.
It expected the ‘low’ to emerge into the Andaman Sea (South-East Bay of Bengal) during the next three days, and could strengthen the North-East monsoon flows in the Bay of Bengal.
PROSPECTS OF INTENSIFICATION
Forecasts vary as to the level of strengthening of the ‘low,’ of which the IMD update does not give any indication. But the Thai Met Department had pointed to a depression within its territorial waters.
South China Sea lies up stream of the Gulf of Thailand in the North-East monsoon scheme of things where the seasonal flows continue to be very strong.
This is now expected to touch off on the Andaman Sea, and the level of intensification of the ‘low’ would have a crucial bearing on the speed, direction and sustainability of the flows in the Bay.
The IMD also said that the persisting cyclonic circulation over Sri Lanka and the Gulf of Mannar has grown its reach to the rear to bring the South-West Bay of Bengal under its footprint.
The US Climate Prediction Centre is on record having predicted the strengthening of this circulation to a larger trough and a potential low-pressure area.
‘LOW’ OFF LANKA, TN?
The US agency said that this ‘low’ could in turn induce the incoming ‘low’ from the Andaman Sea to merge with it and approach the Tamil Nadu/Andhra Pradesh coast.
But there is no consensus on this forecast yet, with the IMD taking the incoming ‘low’ from the Gulf further north towards Odisha/Bengal coasts in its latest wind-field projections.
Interestingly, the US agency opines that it is a break-away portion of a developing storm that would hurtle towards Odisha coast after it undergoes bifurcation over Central Bay of Bengal.
The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts has consistently ruled out a storm being generated from the incoming ‘low’ in the Gulf of Thailand.
Instead it seems to see some potential in the circulation off Sri Lanka to break away into the South-West Bay and slowly intensify into a storm and cut a patch to Andhra Pradesh/Odisha coasts.
(This article was published on November 1, 2017)
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