Cyclone Mocha, May 13: Cyclone Mocha, which had intensified rapidly into a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm between Thursday and Friday, has now transformed into an Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm within the past 24 hours.
Cyclones are some of the most devastating natural disasters that can cause widespread destruction and loss of life.
According to multiple models, it is expected to maintain this strength until it makes landfall on Sunday.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) reported that the Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm ‘Mocha’ was centred over east-central Bay of Bengal this morning. As of 5:30 am today, it was located about 570 km north-northwest of Port Blair (Andaman-Nicobar), 730 km south-southwest of Cox’s Bazar (Bangladesh), and 660 km southwest of Sittwe (Myanmar).
The system is expected to peak in strength during the afternoon and evening hours of today when it will have sustained wind speeds of 190-200 kmph, gusting to 220 kmph. However, some of this strength will be lost before it approaches the land, and it is expected to make landfall as a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm with a maximum sustained wind speed of 150-160 kmph, gusting to 175 kmph.
The IMD categorizes a system as a Cyclonic Storm when its 3-minute average maximum sustained wind speeds are between 63-88 kmph. Similarly, a Severe Cyclonic Storm has winds between 89-117 kmph, a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm between 118-165 kmph, and an Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm between 166-220 kmph. Wind speeds above 221 kmph give rise to a Super Cyclone.
The differences between the landfall predictions made by the IMD-GFS and ECMWF models have reduced considerably since yesterday. The IMD-GFS model predicts that Mocha will continue moving north-northeastwards and cross southeast Bangladesh and north Myanmar coasts between Cox’s Bazar (Bangladesh) and Kyaukpyu (Myanmar), close to Sittwe (Myanmar) around Sunday noon.
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Meanwhile, the NWP model of ECMWF indicates that Mocha will retain its Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm status until Sunday afternoon and subsequently make landfall by Sunday evening. It adds that the cyclonic winds will rapidly weaken immediately after landfall.
As for the cyclone’s impact on India, only the northeastern parts of the country will be affected by intense rains over the weekend. The rest of the country will continue to experience warm and dry conditions.
Cyclone Mocha’s rapid intensification into an Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm raises concerns about the destruction and loss of life that may occur. It is crucial for authorities to take necessary precautions and measures to minimize the cyclone’s impact on the people and property in its path. The IMD’s predictions and ECMWF’s models are valuable tools that can assist in taking proactive steps to mitigate the impact of Cyclone Mocha.