Friday, May 26, 2017

Tropical Cyclone Likely to Form in Bay of Bengal; Potential Threat to Bangladesh, Myanmar

Jon Erdman
Published: May 26,2017

A tropical cyclone is expected to form in the Bay of Bengal this weekend and may eventually pose a danger to Bangladesh, Myanmar and perhaps parts of eastern India by early next week.
Currently, convection is festering near a broad area of low pressure, dubbed Invest 94B in the central Bay of Bengal.
(MORE: Hurricane Central)

Current Infrared Satellite Image
With little wind shear overhead, and warm water, it appears probable Invest 94B will organize into a depression first, then into what is locally known as a cyclonic storm, the equivalent of a tropical storm, by Sunday. Once it develops, it will gain the name "Mora."
(MORE: What is an Invest?)
Beyond that, assuming it forms, the tropical cyclone would likely get pulled north by the upper-level steering winds. On that course, the intensifying cyclone could make landfall later Monday or Tuesday in Bangladesh or Myanmar.
The threat of torrential, flooding rainfall is most certain along, north and to the east of the track of this future tropical cyclone, including Bangladesh, northeast India and western Myanmar, if not more of that country.
(MORE: Heavy Rain Triggers Deadly Sri Lanka Landslides)

Rainfall Potential Through Wednesday
Of greater concern, however, is the potential storm surge.
As colleague Chris Dolce laid out in a previous article, the northern Bay of Bengal is one of the most storm-surge-prone coastlines in the world due to a combination of dense population, very flat terrain near the coast, the narrowing of the bay on its northern edge, the shallow bathymetry of the bay, and numerous small inlets.
Of the 12 tropical cyclones on record that have claimed at least 100,000 lives, eight of those formed in the Bay of Bengal, according to Weather Underground.
One of these, the infamous Great Bhola Cyclone, killed at least 300,000 in November 1970, the world's deadliest tropical cyclone of record.
In more recent times, Cyclone Nargis in 2008 devasted the Irrawaddy Delta region of Myanmar, claiming at least 130,000 lives.
(MORE: Which Countries Get Hit Most by Tropical Cyclones?)
Less intense storms have also been very deadly in the region.
In 2015, a tropical storm-strength cyclone, Cyclone Komen, hovered near the coast of Bangladesh and brought flooding rain to six countries that killed nearly 500 people. Cyclone Komen made weeks of heavy rainfall even worse as landslides occurred in Myanmar, and more than a million people were evacuated or displaced from Myanmar alone.
MORE: Bay of Bengal's Deadly Cyclones

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

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