Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 1:
The US Climate Prediction Centre has put the South China Sea and the Bay of Bengal under watch for signs of tropical storm formation during the next week beginning today.
While the agency has ‘high confidence’ about the event happening in the South China Sea during November 1 to 7, the chances are ‘moderate’ for the Bay of Bengal.
CONTINUED BAY WATCH
But the Bay will continue to be under watch for the following (November 8 to 14) as well for signs of storm formation, according to updated outlook made available today.
The agency attributes the enhanced activity to the passage of a weather-setting Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) wave above the region during the period.
MJO waves pass periodically above the Indian Ocean in the higher atmosphere, setting up clouds and thundershowers, triggering formation of low-pressure areas, depressions and even cyclones.
Meanwhile, India Met Department (IMD) is expecting a ‘low’ to spin up over the Gulf of Thailand today or tomorrow, which would roll into the Andaman Sea by the weekend.
Interestingly, the Thailand Met Department has already declared the formation of a tropical depression over the South China Sea, with a track pointing towards the Gulf of Thailand.
DEPRESSION IN SOUTH CHINA SEA
This may have proven the forecasts of the US Climate Prediction Centre with respect to the South China Sea. Implications for the Bay of Bengal, which lies next door to the Gulf, are to be watched.
The tropical depression is expected to move into the Gulf during the next three days, the Thai Met said. This could be the system which the IMD has been referring it to over the past few days.
But the system is already a depression, having evolved two levels beyond a ‘low’, and could intensify further as it takes its own time to move across the Gulf and into the Andaman Sea/Bay of Bengal.
Meanwhile, the outlook with respect to storm formation in the Bay basin keeps shifting, with the IMD lately indicating that a prevailing circulation over Sri Lanka may start intensifying soon.
It will be in linked in a ‘twin-pulley’ formation with the incoming storm from the Gulf of Thailand, and would guide the latter to India’s East Coast, though there is uncertainty about the landfall area.
(This article was published on November 1, 2017)
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