Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 2:
The strong North-East monsoon is churning up the contiguous West Philippine Sea/South China Sea/Gulf of Thailand waters with storms taking shape one after the other.
The Andaman Sea/Bay of Bengal waters are next in the line, with an inbound depression having already moved half into the Gulf of Thailand from South China Sea last night.
TROPICAL STORM UPSTREAM
This is expected to travel further west into the Andaman Sea over the next two to three days, an India Met Department (IMD) update said this morning.
Its apparently slow movement in the Gulf is attributed to the distracting influence of a bigger, and a named tropical storm, Damrey, that prowls the South China Sea to its rear.
Damrey, now within the Thai area(sea) of responsibility, had moved in last night from the West Philippine Sea, which falls under the Philippine area of responsibility.
It was originally known by the moniker, ‘Ramil,’ given by the Philippine area of responsibility, but assumed the name ‘Damrey’ as it entered the Thai area of responsibility.
The tropical depression in the Gulf of Thailand is unrelated to either ‘Ramil’ or ‘Damrey,’ and had originated on its own in the lower South China Sea a couple of days ago.
BEARING ON LOCAL MONSOON
The strong North-East monsoon conditions have already transmitted into the Gulf and in part to the Andaman Sea. Wind speeds are up to 40 km/hr in the Gulf and up to 35 km/hr in the Andaman Sea.
The IMD still categorises the system in the Gulf as a low-pressure area only but the Thai Met had notified it as a depression a day ago with sustained wind speeds of 50 km/hr.
The IMD expects the ‘low’ to move into the Andaman Sea where it is expected to intensify, boosting the North-East monsoon flows there as also in the adjoining Bay of Bengal.
As has been reported already, there is wide disparity in predictions with respect to the strengthening of the ‘low’ and the track of its onward movement in the Bay.
It is now more or less accepted that there is a storm in the making in the basin, with the east coast of India bracing for a hit. Where exactly this would happen is still in the realm of conjecture.
(This article was published on November 2, 2017)
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