Monsoon 2011 and Cyclones – Sub-continent’s coastal threat?

This is the third special monsoon article and it is a sequel of “Monsoon threaten by Indian Ocean Dipole”

Cyclone forms before the monsoon season

Who looks after these storm?

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) is the official Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre in the Sub-continent. IMD’s responsiblity is to issue cyclone warning to the South Asian states. The Arabian sea is abbreviated ARB and the Bay of Bengal is abbreviated BOB by the Indian Meteorological Department.

Failure of Indian Meteorological Department!

The IMD has also been criticised by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) for its poor performance in 2007. In June 2007, Cyclone Yemyin was about to hit Balochistan region of Pakistan as a weak category-1 hurricane with winds upto 75 mph on the Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale (SSHS) but according to the IMD it was a mere tropical depression with winds upto 35 mph.

Cyclones and their name mystery

Before 2004 and cyclone names

Before 2004, tropical cyclone were not named in the North Indian Ocean they were given names like ARB 01 or BOB 01. In 2000, members of the WMO agreed that in September 2004, tropical cyclones in the Northern Indian Ocean attaining gale-force winds would be given names to avoid confusion and have a better data. Hence, the first named cyclone was cyclone Onil that created havoc in Karachi and Hyderabad.

Where do cyclone get these names?

IMD has the mandate to provide weather advisories to seven countries that is Bangladesh, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Thailand and Sri Lanka besides India.

It also asks these countries to suggest names for the cyclones, which are then listed in an alphabetical order of the names of the member countries. So when ever a deep depression (Tropical depression) in the North Indian Ocean attains 40 mph winds it is given a name and hence a cyclone is born. Following is the list of the names of cyclones and the cyclones that have been named are in colours;

Nations 1  2 3  4  5 6 7 8
Bangladesh Onil Ogni Nisha Giri Helen Chapala Ockhi Fani
India Agni Akash Bijli Jal Leher Megh Sagar Vayu
Maldives Hibaru Gonu Aila Keila Madi Roanu Makunu Hikaa
Myanmar Pyarr Yemyin Phyan Thane Na−nauk Kyant Daye Kyarr
Oman Baaz Sidr Ward Murjan Hudhud Nada Luban Maha
Pakistan Fanoos Nargis Laila Nilam Nilofar Vardah Titli Bulbul
Sri Lanka Mala Rashmi Bandu Mahasen Priya Asiri Gigum Soba
Thailand Mukda Khai−Muk Phet Phailin Komen Mora Phethai Amphan

Deadliest tropical cyclones in the North Indian Ocean

Cyclone Nargis battered Burma in 2008

Almost every cyclone in this region of the world has bad effect due to poor developments and poor knowlege of the people. The Governemnt of these countries also fail to warn the people especially fishermen on time this results in unusual high death toll. Following are the three deadliest tropical cyclones in the North Indian Ocean and one of the deadliest in the world;

Tropical cyclones Fatalities
1. 1971 East-Pakistan cyclone 500,000
2. 1991 Bangladesh cyclone 138,866
3. Cyclone Nargis (2008) 138,366

Pre-monsoon and tropical storm activity

Cyclone make landfall near Karachi - Clear eye indicates a powerful hurricane

Every year before the onset of monsoon and after its withdrawal over the Indian Sub-continent there is always a high possibility of formation of cyclone (Hurricane) either in the Bay of Bengal or the Arabian sea. Rainfall from these monster storms are regarded as Pre-monsoon rains. The tropical activity before the monsoon starts from April till June in the Bay of Bengal while tropical activity before the monsoon in the Arabian sea starts from mid-May till june while the tropical activity after the post-monsoon starts from September till December in both the seas. Following are the past tropical activity that started before the onset of Monsoon;

  • In 1999, the first cyclone of that monsoon season formed in Arabian sea on May 16, This cyclone made landfall near Karachi, Pakistan killing 6400 people. It was a major category-3 hurricane.
  • In 2000, the first cyclone formed in Bay of Bengal on March 27. It was a mere cyclonic storm (Tropical storm)
  • In 2001, a major category 3 hurricane formed in the Arabian sea on May 21. It made landfall near Gujarat province in India, killing 900 people.
  • In 2002, a mere cyclonic storm formed near Oman on May 6 in the Arabian sea.
  • In 2003, a category-1 hurricane developed in the Bay of Bengal on May 10.
  • In 2004, on May 5, a cyclonic storm developed in the Arabian sea near western Indian coast.
  • In 2005, before the onset on monsoon a tropical depression formed in the Arabian sea on June 21.
  • In 2006, a category-4 hurricane, cyclone Mala formed in the Bay of Bengal that battered the Myanmar coast. The storm was responsible for 22 deaths in the country. Mala formed on April 25.
  • In 2007, a depression formed in the Bay of Bengal in June.
  • In 2008, A deadly category-4 hurricane, cyclone Nargis shattered the Myanmar coast in the Bay of Bengal. The storm formed on April 27.
  • In 2009, Cyclone Bijli formed in April and made landfall over Bangladesh.
  • In 2010, Cyclone Laila formed in the Bay of Bengal in May and made landfall near Eastern India.

Cyclone in 2011?

Pakistan flooded in 2010
Cyclone Yemyin floods Balochistan in 2007

Due to La-Nina there could be no cyclones in the Arabian sea but there is always a possibility of a tropical depression to develop in this sea before the monsoon. The Bay of Bengal will usually produce more cyclones than Arabian sea. Normally 4 to 6 cyclone are formed every year in the North Indian Ocean. Mid-May and June is the peak month for tropical storm to develop in the Arabian sea,  So lets wait for the monsoon and their cyclones.


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8 replies to “Monsoon 2011 and Cyclones – Sub-continent’s coastal threat?

  1. Is there a chance of cyclone for Karachi this year?

    If yes, then how much percent, and in which month?

    Please tell me..

      1. Thanks!

        Can you please tell me one more thing that what is “La-Nina”

        I will be very thankful to you.

        Thanks! Many Thanks!

  2. till which date we hav to wait to understand there will be a chance for depression or ARB 01?
    thank you

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