'It Did Not Recurve': Why Did Cyclone Asani Deviate from Its Path And Storm The Andhra Coast?

'It Did Not Recurve': Why Did Cyclone Asani Deviate from Its Path And Storm The Andhra Coast?

IMD maintained that evacuation would not be necessary.

It was all going well until the penultimate day. Severe cyclonic storm Asani intensified rapidly over the Bay of Bengal and advanced towards India’s east coast till Tuesday evening as predicted. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) was positive that the storm, in all likelihood, would recurve towards the sea when it reached near the north Andhra Pradesh coast, and eventually fizzle out.

But the plan went awry. The cyclone did not turn.

Instead, it slowly moved towards Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday evening and crossed the coast between Machilipatnam and Narsapur between 5.30 pm and 7.30 pm while weakening into a deep depression. Winds with speeds of 55-75 km per hour gusting up to 75 km per hour lashed the coastal districts, coupled with extremely heavy rains.

'It Did Not Recurve': Why Did Cyclone Asani Deviate from Its Path And Storm The Andhra Coast?
Gold coloured chariot washes ashore in Andhra amid cyclone Asani; video goes viral

The predictions

In its earlier forecast on May 9, IMD had indicated that the storm was unlikely to make landfall over the east coast, and recurve and move towards northwest Bay of Bengal off Odisha coast. On May 10, it revised its forecast, suggesting that the cyclone was likely to move along the Narsapur, Yanam, Kakinada, Tuni, and Visakhapatnam coasts and emerge into west-central Bay of Bengal off north Andhra Pradesh coasts by Wednesday night. But early on May 11, the day it made its landfall, the IMD issued a cyclone warning for Andhra Pradesh. The weather department also swiftly added a storm surge warning of 0.5 m, expecting inundation of low-lying areas of Krishna, East and West Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh, and Yanam of Puducherry. But it maintained that evacuation would not be necessary.

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