Asani is unlikely to cross the Indian coast but heavy rain and strong winds are expected over Andaman and Nicobar Islands
The Indian Metrological Department (IMD) had last week warned that a low pressure area was brewing over southwest Indian Ocean and was expected intensify into a cyclone by early next week. This week IMD has warned that the cyclone is likely to have landfall in Andaman and Nicobar islands, most likely on 21 March.
Authorities of the south Indian islands have put Andaman and Nicobar on alert. The cyclone is unlikely to cross the Indian coast but heavy rain and strong winds are expected over Andaman and Nicobar Islands
This is the first cyclone to hit India this year. The cyclone is likely to form over Bay of Bengal.
IMD had last week predicted that the cyclone may move towards Bangladesh and adjoining north Myanmar. However, the cyclone's latest movement suggests that east and northeast India remain vulnerable to its impact throughout next week.
The low pressure area (LPA), which was formed on Tuesday, was expected to move east-northeastwards and become a well marked LPA by Saturday and subsequently move along and off Andaman & Nicobar islands before intensifying into a depression, the India Meteorological Department said.
On 19 March, light to moderate rainfall/thundershowers are likely in the south Andaman Sea. Heavy to very heavy rainfall is expected at a few places and extremely heavy rainfall at isolated places in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The weather system was expected to further intensify into a cyclonic storm on March 21 and continue to move north-northwestwards till March 22.
Strong winds reaching 40-50 kmph gusting to 60 kmph are very likely over the Bay of Bengal and the equatorial Indian Ocean till 18 March. Wind speed is gradually expected to increase by 21 March. Gale winds speed reaching 70-80 kmph gusting to 90 kmph are very likely over Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the Bay of Bengal. On 23 March, gale winds speed reaching 70-80 kmph gusting to 90 kmph are very likely over the Bay of Bengal and Bangladesh and Myanmar coasts.
The cyclone has been named Asani by Sri Lanka.
Areas likely to be affected
Sea condition is very likely to become rough over southeast Bay of Bengal and adjoining south Andaman Sea on Thursday and Friday.
“For now, it does not seem like it will affect the Indian coast. Our models indicate Asani may cross Bangladesh or adjoining north Myanmar coasts. But it is also too early to say what will be the trajectory. All conditions are favourable for formation and intensification of the cyclone," said an IMD official.
"Thereafter, it will move north-northeastwards and reach near Bangladesh and adjoining north Myanmar coast by morning of 23 March," the weather office said.
The weather office has advised fishermen not to venture into central parts of south Bay of Bengal and adjoining Equatorial Indian Ocean on Wednesday and into southeast Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea area on Thursday and Friday.
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