In 2019, the Arabian Sea saw the formation of 8 cyclones in 2019, a phenomenon recorded after 117 years, as per meteorologists. Of the 12 cyclonic disturbances (CDs) developed over the north Indian Ocean (NIO), 4 were over the Bay...Dec 26th · 4 min read
Cyclones In India in 2019 (Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons)
This year, India broke its previous record of having been hit by the maximum number of tropical cyclones in a year. In 2019, the monsoon season featured featured 8 cyclones of which 3 were formed over the Bay of Bengal (BoB) and 5 over the Arabian Sea (AS). The year also witnessed 4 depressions/deep depressions (1 over Bay of Bengal and 3 over Arabian Sea), taking the total count of Cyclonic Disturbances (CDs) to 12. Of the 8 cyclones, six of them intensifying to very severe cyclonic storms and one to super cyclonic storm- Cyclone Kyarr. The Arabian Sea saw the formation of eight cyclones this year, a phenomenon recorded after 117 years, as per meteorologists. In 2019, the Arabian Sea, which touches the Indian subcontinent, West Asia and West Africa, witnessed the formation of Cyclones- Kyaar, Vayu, Hikka, Pawan, Bulbul among several others. In the history of monsoons in India, the Indian Ocean has recorded the strongest ever dipole, a phenomenon associated with the warming of waters, leading to the record number of cyclones. In 2019, India saw the deadliest cyclonic year as the Arabian Sea had been more active during 2019 with the formation of 12 CDs including 8 cyclones against the normal of 1.7 CDs per year. In 2018, India broke its 33-year record, after having been hit by seven cyclones. Cyclone Formation (Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons) Cyclones in Arabian Sea in 2019: Out of 5 cyclones over the Arabian Sea, 4 were severe and above intensity cyclones. Cyclones in Bay of Bengal in 2019: Out of 3 cyclones over Bay of Bengal, 2 were severe and above intensity cyclones. Cyclones In India in 2019 (Photo Credits: PTI) The first cyclone of 2019 was Cyclone Vayu, which developed into a cyclonic storm in the Arabian Sea. 'Vayu' skirted the Gujarat coast in June 2019, followed by Cyclone Hikka in September 2019. As per experts, during the period 1891-2018, the maximum number of six cyclonic disturbances developed in 1998. Of these, three turned into cyclonic storms. What Causes a Cyclone Cyclone Vayu (Photo Credits: IANS) According to experts, a low-pressure area is the first step towards formation of a cyclone. A cyclonic storm also fizzles out into a low-pressure area. Formation of cyclonic storms in the Arabian Sea is normal but it is rare if it develops in October-November. Usually, the Bay of Bengal sees cyclonic storms during this period. Experts say that the cyclones that occur in the Bay of Bengal are usually the remnants of the typhoons of North Pacific which fizzle out, travel down to the South China Sea and cross Vietnam and Thailand. Reason For Cyclone Formation Cyclone Formation (Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons) In 2019, the Indian Ocean recorded the strongest ever dipole (warming of waters). As per scientists, a positive IOD (Indian Ocean Dipole) means warming of the west Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea. A positive IOD means the waters near Somalia are warmer than Indonesia. This helps formation of a low-pressure area which later leads to cyclone formation. Also, this year, IMD stated that the sea surface temperature was nearly 27 to 29 degrees Celsius, which is more than normal. This phenomenon attributed to the formation of cyclones in the Indian Ocean. 2019- a Record-Breaking Year For Cyclones in India Cyclones In India in 2019 (Photo Credits: PTI) The maximum of 18 cyclonic disturbances had been observed in a year over the north Indian Ocean during 1925 and 1975. 2019 witnessed 8 cyclones (3 over Bay of Bengal and 5 over Arabian Sea) and 4 depressions/deep depressions (1 over Bay of Bengal and 3 over Arabian Sea). Out of 5 cyclones over the AS, 4 were severe and above intensity cyclones and out of 3 cyclones over BoB, 2 were severe & above intensity cyclones. During 1893 and 1930, the maximum number of 10 cyclones developed over the north Indian Ocean. During 1902, the maximum number of 5 cyclones with 4 severe cyclones developed over Arabian Sea. Here’s a Timeline of Cyclones That Hit India in 2019 The year began with Cyclonic Storm Pabuk over Andaman Sea during January 4 to January 8. Pabuk, a once in three-decades weather system, originated over the Gulf of Thailand made landfall in Nakhon Si Thammarat province. Extremely severe cyclonic storm Fani was formed over the Bengal during April 26- May 4. Fani was the strongest tropical cyclone to strike the Indian state of Odisha since the 1999 Odisha cyclone. Very severe cyclonic storm Vayu was formed in the Arabian Sea during June 10 to June 17. Vayu was the strongest tropical cyclone to affect India since the 1998 Gujarat cyclone. Very severe cyclonic storm Hikaa was formed over the Arabian Sea during September 22 to 25. Hikaa weakened due to dry air intrusion and made landfall on Oman as a severe tropical cyclone. Super cyclonic storm Kyarr over east-central Arabian Sea from October 24 to November 2. The system organized itself and intensified to a cyclonic storm on October 24 as it moved eastwards, gaining cyclonic storm status on October 27. Extremely severe cyclone Maha was formed over the Arabian Sea during October 30-November 7. Maha, the sixth cyclonic storm was formed on October 30 after Kyarr dissipated on November 1. Cyclone Bulbul was formed over the Bay of Bengal from November 5 to 15. Bulbul became a very severe cyclonic storm on November 8. As it continued north, it then strengthened into a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm as the IMD issued coastal warnings for West Bengal. Cyclone Pawan was formed over the Arabian Sea from December 2 to December 7. The cyclone strengthened into a cyclonic storm on December 4 due to favorable conditions, thus getting the name Pawan. Pawan eventually made landfall in the Puntland region of Somalia. In a cyclone, the 'eye of the storm' is the center. The tropical cyclones are formed due to warm and humid ocean air. When they go onto land, they weaken and die when they spend a long time over land or cool ocean water. Cyclones In India in 2019 (Photo Credits: PTI)This year, India witnessed increased number of intense cyclones over the Arabian Sea. Out of 5 cyclones, 1 was a super cyclonic storm Kyarr, 1 was extremely severe cyclonic storm Maha, 2 were very severe cyclonic storms Vayu and Hikaa) while 1 was cyclonic storm Pawan. Meanwhile, the activity in the Bay of Bengal this year has been less as compared to Arabian Sea. The Bay saw the formation of only 3 cyclones Pabuk, Fani, Bulbul against the normal of 4 per year. Out of these, there were two severe cyclones Fani and Bulbul against the normal of 2 per year.