By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
By Eric Leister, AccuWeather meteorologist
May 29,2017, 1:54:40PM,EDT
Cyclonic Storm Mora in the Bay of Bengal will aim at Bangladesh in the final days of May, bringing flooding rain and damaging winds.Northeastern India and Myanmar also face dangers to lives and property.
The strengthening cyclone will bring flooding and damaging storm surge to the northern Bay of Bengal. A special weather bulletin from Bangladesh's Meteorological Department was issued urging fishing boats and trawlers in the nearby waters to seek shelter.
AccuWeather meteorologists expect additional strengthening before landfall due to favorable environmental conditions. As the storm 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 Mora takes aim at land.
“Landfall is expected in Bangladesh late on Monday night or Tuesday, local time,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Jason Nicholls said.
Mora may strengthen into a very 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 cyclone into Bangladesh. Dangerous storm surge may flood coastal communities near and east of where the storm makes landfall.
The region is particularly prone to devastating storm surges due to the large coastal plain which contains several rivers. This topography along with a high population density has resulted in eight of the top 10 deadliest cyclones in recorded history originating in the Bay of Bengal.
Residents of Chittagong and Dhaka should make necessary preparations for possible power outages, severe flooding, structure damage and evacuation orders.
“Rainfall over 150 mm (6 inches) and flooding will be major concerns for eastern Bangladesh and northwestern Myanmar,” 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 Monday night and Tuesday.”
Rainfall in excess of 12 inches (300 mm) can be expected in some of the mountainous terrain. This will make mudslides and flash flooding a major concern in northeastern India, western Myanmar and eastern Bangladesh.
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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 some moisture from Mora could trigger showers and thunderstorms as far west as Kolkata, India, the greatest impacts from Mora will 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 storm continues to track northward. Nicholls expects similar rainfall totals as in Bangladesh. However, the risk of damaging winds will lessen as the storm moves over land.
Rain from Mora 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.