As cyclonic storm 'Pawan' crossed over the Somalia coast on Saturday and weakened into a deep depression, the calendar year 2019 has witnessed 11 cyclonic disturbances developed over the India Ocean, a phenomenon recorded after 127 years. Such development was last recorded in 1893.
Of the 11 cyclonic disturbances, five were developed over the Arabian Sea while four of them turned into severe intensity. Similarly, the Bay of Bengal (BoB) witnessed three cyclonic disturbances this year. Of them, two developed into severe intensity. "India will break its previous record of having been hit by the most number of tropical cyclones in a year. Back-to-back cyclones have caused havoc and affected weather pattern in Indian Sub Continent. The maximum number of 10 cyclones developed over north Indian Ocean during 1893, 1926, 1930 and 1976. The maximum number of five cyclones with four severe cyclones developed over Arabian Sea during 1902," the India Meteorological Department said.
The Arabian Sea has been more active during 2019 with the formation of seven cyclonic disturbances against the normal of 1.7 cyclonic disturbances per year. Of them, five have developed into severe or extensive intensity cyclones against the normal of 1 per year.
The Bay of Bengal on the wastern side remains relatively quite with only three cyclones-Pabuk, Fani and Bulbul this year.
"Thus, the frequency of cyclone storm observed over the Arabian Sea during 2019 post monsoon season equals the past record of 1982 and 2011 when four cyclonic disturbances CDs developed in the post monsoon season. It also equals the past record of 1902 post monsoon season with formation of three cyclones including two severe cyclones," it said.
According to the IMD, Vayu in June, Hikka in September were severe intensity cyclonic storms, Maha cyclone was put in extremely severe cyclonic storm, Kyarr was recognized as super cyclonic storm while Pawan was put in cyclonic storm only.
The formation of cyclones Kyarr and Maha simultaneously in end-October was considered to be an unusual occurrence observed last in 1965. While, cyclone Maha turned "extremely severe", cyclone Kyarr intensified into a super cyclone and dissipated near the coast of Somalia. The last such occurrence (five cyclones) was observed in 1902.
According to the IMD, cyclone Pabuk over Andaman Sea came during January 04 and 08 this year; the extremely severe cyclonic storm FANI came over the Bengal during April 26-May 04. Very severe cyclonic storm Vayu came over Very severe cyclonic storm VAYU over the Arabian Sea during 10-17 June. Very severe cyclone Bulbul over the Bay of Bengal came between November 5 and 11.
According to scientists, warming of oceans is fuelling stronger cyclones in the North Indian Ocean, with increasing potential energy available to these cyclonic disturbances. The systems also seem to have intensified rapidly, most probably due to higher sea-surface temperatures, which lead to an increase in cyclonic wind speeds. Studies show that with a rapidly warming Indian Ocean, the frequency of severe cyclones is expected to increase.
The cyclonic activity brought post-monsoon rain, hitting agriculture in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Goa and Karnataka. Of the seven cyclonic disturbances over the Arabian Sea this year, four were recorded post-monsoon.