What The FAQ: What we need to know about Cyclone Yaas to brace ourselves

Will Yaas affect India? When will it intensify? What do the experts have to say? We answer all your questions about the new cyclone threat that follows Tauktae
Picture: Edexlive
Picture: Edexlive

Cyclone Tauktae has left a trail of destruction, mostly along the western coast of India, but our reasons to worry might not be over yet. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) says another cyclone might be following on Tauktae's heels. Where is it coming from? How strong will it be? Where will it make landfall? We talk about all that and why India is in the eye of storms so often.

What is the new cyclone called?

Due to make landfall around May 23-24, the cyclone which might form over the east-central Bay of Bengal will be called Yaas. Even though Oman has come up with the name, memes have flooded social media since it sounds very similar to Yash, a very common Indian name. Bengali actor Yash has been the eye of this meme storm. 

Why so many cyclones, so often?

Experts at the IMD told the media that the temperature on the ocean's surface is higher than usual. This makes the conditions favourable for cyclone formation. Sunitha Devi, in charge of cyclones at the IMD, told the Hindustan Times that the cyclone will be mentioned officially in the forecasts once the low pressure intensifies and "cyclogenesis is flagged on the forecast skill range". The cyclone is predicted to form over the Bay of Bengal. “The sea surface temperatures (SST) are around 31 degrees C over the Bay of Bengal also and all other oceanic and atmospheric conditions are favourable for cyclone development,” added Devi. 

When will the cyclone form? 

Yaas is set to form in the low-pressure area over the east-central Bay of Bengal around May 23 and will probably intensify and transform into a depression and a super cyclone. “We have indicated in our bulletin that there is a likelihood of formation of a low-pressure area over Bay of Bengal next week. In our outlook on cyclogenesis also we have indicated that the low-pressure system can intensify. As soon as it comes in our forecast skill range we will mention it in our forecasts,” said Devi.

Will it affect India? 

On May 13, the Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre had said that there is a ‘low’ probability for cyclogenesis over east-central and the nearby northeast Bay of Bengal towards the latter half of the second week of May. “A low-pressure area is developing. It may intensify into a depression or a cyclone. As of now, the models are indicating that it is likely to move towards Myanmar and not towards the Indian coast,” said Mahesh Palawat, vice-president, climate change and meteorology at Skymet Weather told the media. 

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