A cyclonic storm has been spotted in the last 24 hours over southeast Arabian sea, just off the Kerala coast, and is now expected to concentrate into a depression during the next 48 hours.
Weathermen say that the latest depression and the resultant cyclone, for a change, is a good omen. The cyclone, because of its unique trajectory, may ensure what has now been described as a compassionate monsoon season. The southwest monsoon had set in over Kerala on June 8, Indian Meteorological Department has officially announced.
The cyclone named 'Vayu' is expected to lend strength to the first phase of the South-West monsoon which hit the coasts of Kerala on Saturday. The cyclone was named 'Vayu' by India this time round as per the established conventions.
Kerala is expected to experience strong rains till the time cyclone gains strength likely by Monday evening. The states of Goa and Karnataka will also experience rains as a result.
The track this cyclone is predicted to take, almost perpendicular to the north with a slight western slant towards Karachi, could provide a bountiful monsoon. And a merciful one, too.
Unlike Fani, which formed over Bay of Bengal and shot through the coast of Odisha during the last week of April this year, the path of the latest cyclone is not expected to be destructive. A top IMD official described the cyclone in terms of a benevolent force. “It will move parallel to the west coast but will keep a healthy distance, careful not to wreak havoc along the coast, but will also be thoughtful enough not to take away the moisture required for a bounteous rainfall. Gujarat coast may be affected but even that looks a distant possibility,” the IMD official said.
The cyclone Mekunu that had formed over the Arabian Sea last year, and had moved far west from the subcontinent to the Somali coast in the south and the Oman coast in the north, had delayed the onset of the southwest monsoon by taking away the moisture and scattering it over the far west of the Arabian sea.
The IMD had put out satellite images that suggested a strong low pressure area over east Arabian sea. It is also felt that given the cloud configuration and atmospheric conditions, the cyclonic formation will get more pronounced in a day or two.
Already, the cyclonic formation has provided some moderate to heavy monsoon spells over the southern coast of the state. Alappuzha recorded 66 mm of rains in span of 24 hours from 8:30 am on Saturday, followed by Thiruvananthapuram 32 mm, Vaikom 24 mm, Kochi 23 mm, Munnar 22 mm, and Punalur 12 mm.
Once the cyclone starts moving, the other parts of the state are expected to get heavy ranifall. Heavy winds, though not of the destructive variety, can also be expected.
Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the above mentioned areas. The latest IMD bulletin has warned that squally weather with wind speed reaching 40-50 kmph was likely to prevail over southwest, southeast and adjoining east central Arabian sea, over Lakshadweep area and off Kerala and Karnataka coasts.