Potentially Catastrophic Cyclone Brewing in the Bay of Bengal


Tropical Storm 01B (Cyclonic Storm AMPHAN per the Indian Meteorological Department), currently in the Southern half of the Bay of Bengal in the North Indian Ocean basin, is likely to produce a potentially catastrophic situation for the country of Bangladesh in the next few days.

The JTWC cone for Tropical Storm 01B “Amphan”

According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC), the storm currently has 1-minute sustained winds of 45 mph (40 knots, 65 km/h) with gusts of up to 50 mph (45 knots, 85 km/h) and a minimum pressure of 996 hPa (29.41 inHg) as of May 16 at 1200 UTC. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) currently has Amphan with 10-minute sustained winds of 40 mph (35 knots, 65 km/h). It’s located at approximately 10.9N, 86.3E.

As for it’s future estimated track and intensity, the JTWC predicts a rather conservative 1-minute sustained peak intensity of 100 mph (85 knots, 155 km/h), equivalent to a minimal Category 2 tropical cyclone on the Saffir-Simpson scale. Despite this, models are trending with significantly higher estimates, most of which equivalent to Category 4 tropical cyclone of 130-155 mph (115-135 knots, 215-250 km/h). Force Thirteen confers with the models in it’s prediction, forecasting an estimated peak of 150 mph (130 knots, 240 km/h) in it’s latest forecast cone.

The potential for consequences on land are major, with Bangladesh and Extreme Eastern India at risk for a direct impact from a storm equivalent of a major hurricane. Storms around this time of year in the Bay of Bengal have been historically costly, with examples including Cyclone Fani of 2019, Cyclone Nargis of 2008 and the Bangladesh Cyclone of 1991. The Cyclone Destruction Potential Scale (CDPS), developed by another member of Force Thirteen, Devon Williams, reads Amphan as a Stage 8 cyclone meaning Catastrophic damage potential.

For further information, refer to your local meteorological office. Force Thirteen is also providing more updates on Amphan and other storms around the world on their youtube channel, facebook and twitter accounts.




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