Cyclone Asani to form over Bay of Bengal on March 21; Andaman & Nicobar on high alert
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted that the year's first cyclone, Asani, is likely to form over the central Bay of Bengal on March 21. Though the cyclone is unlikely to cross the Indian coast, heavy rain and strong winds are expected over Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It will move towards Bangladesh and Myanmar after hitting Andaman.
According to IMD's rainfall warning, scattered to fairly widespread rainfall is very likely over Andaman & Nicobar Islands during March 16- 20. While isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall can be observed over the Nicobar Islands on March 19 with extremely heavy rainfall over the Islands on March 20.
Fishermen are advised not to venture into southeast Bay of Bengal during 19th to 21st March and into Andaman Sea and along & off Andaman and Nicobar Islands during 19th to 22nd March.
As of March 17, the low-pressure area over the central parts of the South Bay of Bengal moved east-northeastwards and lay centred over southeast Bay of Bengal and east Equatorial Indian Ocean. It is likely to continue to move east-northeastwards, and become a well-marked low-pressure area & lie over southeast Bay of Bengal and adjoining south the Andaman Sea by March 19.
Later, it is likely to move north-northwestwards along & off Andaman & Nicobar Islands and further intensify into a depression by March 20 and into a cyclonic storm on March 21. Thereafter, it is likely to move nearly northwards and reach near Bangladesh and north Myanmar coast around March 22.
March, April and May are considered as the pre-monsoon months, and generally, cyclonic disturbances start forming over the Bay in May. This year, however, it has woken up much earlier than expected and is likely to throw up the first hurricane of the season in March itself.
Only seven cyclones have been recorded so far in the month of March in the last 130 years, and only one of them has crossed the Indian coast. It has been nearly two decades since the Indian Ocean has seen a cyclone in the month of March.