By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
By Adam Douty, AccuWeather meteorologist
May 27,2017, 10:36:05AM,EDT
A budding tropical cyclone in the Bay of Bengal may take aim at Bangladesh in the final days of May. Northeastern India and Myanmar also face dangers to lives and property.The potential cyclone could bring flooding and damaging storm surge. Evacuations may be necessary.
The very warm waters of the Bay of Bengal are expected to help a tropical low develop into a depression by the end of the weekend.
“The low may continue to strengthen and likely become a deep depression or cyclonic storm [the equivalent of a tropical storm in the Atlantic or northern Pacific Ocean basins] by early week, local time,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls said.
The low should intensify as it churns to the north toward Bangladesh.
As the low strengthens, rain and wind will increase around its center. Seas will build in response and pose hazards to shipping interests.
Dangers to lives and property will shift to Bangladesh, northeastern India and Myanmar as the budding cyclone takes aim at land.
“The main threat area for landfall continues to be centered around Bangladesh with landfall expected on Monday night or Tuesday, local time,” Nicholls said.
The low may strengthen into a severe cyclonic storm (the equivalent of strong tropical storm or minimal Category 1 hurricane) before it reaches Bangladesh.
Flooding rain and damaging winds would accompany the future cyclone into Bangladesh. A storm surge threatens to flood coastal communities further near and east of where the low makes landfall.
Residents of Chittagong and Dhaka should begin making necessary preparations for possible power outages, severe flooding, damage and evacuation orders.
“Rainfall over 150 mm (6 inches) and flooding will be major concerns for Bangladesh,” Nicholls said. “The strength of the damaging winds will be dependent on the strength of the storm at landfall, but wind gusts past 125 km/h (78 mph) appear likely late Monday and Tuesday.”
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Area streams and rivers, including the Padma and Brahmaputra rivers, will rise and become dangerously fast flowing. Some roads and bridges may be washed out.
Motorists should remember never to drive through a flooded road to avoid a potentially deadly situation.
While the low is anticipated to track into Bangladesh, western Myanmar will also face the risk for flooding downpours, mudslides and coastal flooding early in the week.
While some rain could move as far west as Kolkata, India, the majority of the moisture from the developing cyclone is expected to pass to the east of the city.
Significant flooding may unfold in Guwahati, Jorhat and Dibrugarh in northeastern India in the final day or two of May as the low continues to track northward. Nicholls expects similar rainfall totals as in Bangladesh. However, the risk of damaging winds will lessen as the low moves over land.
Mudslides could unfold in the neighboring mountains.
Rain from the cyclone will otherwise avoid the rest of India. Sinking air from above the surface on the western side of a cyclone can dry out and heat up communities.
“The cyclone may actually work to worsen the heat in Odisha and Chhattisgarh into Bihar,” Nicholls said.