Cyclone Hamoon Intensifies in Bay of Bengal, Spares Kolkata
In a day marked by dramatic weather changes, Cyclone Hamoon escalated into a “very severe cyclonic storm” over the Bay of Bengal, with wind speeds exceeding 120kmph. However, the city of Kolkata was fortunate as the cyclone veered away from the Bengal coast, sparing the metropolis from its full force.
By 8:30 a.m. on 24th Oct, Cyclone Hamoon had rapidly intensified and was classified as a “very severe cyclonic storm,” posing a significant weather threat. It was positioned over the northwest Bay of Bengal, moving northeast at a speed of 23kmph toward the coast of Bangladesh, according to the India Meteorological Department.
Kolkata witnessed partially cloudy skies on Dashami, and sporadic showers were reported from various parts of the city. In contrast to the previous day, conditions were less overcast, with brief appearances of the sun.
Navami experienced heavier rainfall and gusty winds, but Dashami saw relatively drier weather. By 5:30 p.m., the official rainfall record in Alipore, Kolkata, indicated 7mm of precipitation.
The weather forecast for 25th Oct suggests partially cloudy skies with the possibility of isolated rain showers, according to the Met Office. Weather conditions are expected to improve starting 26th Oct.
In meteorological terms, a “very severe cyclonic storm” is the third most powerful classification, following a supercyclone and an extremely severe cyclonic storm. It is characterized by wind speeds ranging from 118kmph to 166kmph.
Weather experts noted the rapid intensification of Cyclone Hamoon, with its transformation from a cyclone to a severe cyclone, and eventually a very severe cyclonic storm, occurring within a short span. G.K. Das, director of the India Meteorological Department in Kolkata, attributed the storm’s swift intensification to its extended journey over the sea.
However, the journey over the sea can have a dual impact on cyclone strength. It can either contribute to rapid strengthening or diminish the cyclone’s power if factors such as sea surface temperature or wind shear do not align. The storm’s potency could weaken if it peaks too early before nearing land.
On Tuesday morning, Cyclone Hamoon was positioned 270km southeast of Digha, 230km south-southwest of Khepupara in Bangladesh, and 350km southwest of Chittagong, Bangladesh. The cyclone continued to move away from the Bengal coast, heading toward eastern Bangladesh.
Meteorologists predict that the cyclone will gradually lose intensity as it approaches land. The official Met bulletin states, “It is very likely to maintain its intensity of a very severe cyclonic storm for a few hours. Thereafter, it is likely to weaken gradually while moving northeastwards and cross Bangladesh coast between Khepupara and Chittagong in the evening of 25th October as a cyclonic storm with wind speed of 65 to 75kmph gusting to 85kmph.”
Meanwhile, Bangladesh has been taking precautions, relocating approximately 1.5 million residents from vulnerable coastal districts in anticipation of yet another cyclone’s arrival. As Cyclone Hamoon continues its trajectory, weather authorities and local governments remain vigilant to ensure the safety of communities in its path.