Bhubaneswar/Kolkata: Cyclone Amphan gathered strength and intensified into a severe cyclonic storm over the Bay of Bengal on Sunday, raising the likelihood of heavy rainfall coupled with high-velocity wind in several coastal districts of Odisha and parts of West Bengal, officials said.
It is likely to cross West Bengal-Bangladesh coasts between Sagar Islands in West Bengal and Hatiya islands in Bangladesh between afternoon and evening of May 20 as a very severe cyclonic storm, Regional MeT Director in Kolkata G K Das said.
According to a bulletin issued by the weather office at 2 pm, AMPHAN (pronounced as UM-PUN) moved slowly northwestwards with a speed of 3 kmph and intensified into a severe cyclonic storm.
It lay centred about 980 km south of Paradip in Odisha, 1,130 km south-southwest of Digha in West Bengal and 1,250 km south-southwest of Khepupara in Bangladesh. It is likely to intensify further into a very severe cyclonic storm during the next 12 hours and then move nearly northwards slowly during the next 24 hours.
Thereafter, it is likely to re-curve north-northeastwards and move fast across northwest Bay of Bengal and cross West Bengal-Bangladesh coasts between Sagar Islands and Hatiya islands between afternoon and evening of May 20, said H R Biswas, Director of the Meteorological Centre in Bhubaneswar.
Under its impact, the coastal districts of Gangetic West Bengal, including North and South 24 Parganas, Kolkata, East and West Midnapore, Howrah and Hooghly are likely to experience light to moderate rain at many places with heavy downpour at isolated places on May 19, Das said.
On May 20, rainfall will occur in many places over the districts in Gangetic West Bengal, with heavy to very heavy downpour in North and South 24 Parganas and East Midnapore districts, he said.
In Odisha, ‘Amphan’ is likely to trigger heavy rainfall in some parts of Gajapati, Ganjam, Puri, Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara districts, while moderate rainfall will lash other coastal areas Monday onwards, the MeT Centre said.
Light to moderate rain or thundershower is likely to occur at most places over coastal Odisha, while heavy to very heavy rainfall will lash some places over the coastal areas on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Light to moderate rain or thundershower will occur at many places over north coastal Odisha and some places over the rest of the districts of Odisha on May 20 and 21. There will be heavy rainfall at some places over Balasore, Bhadrak, Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar districts on these two days, it said.
Squall with speed reaching 45-55 kmph and gusting to 65 kmph is likely to commence along and off the south Odisha coast from May 18 evening. Wind with similar speed is also likely along and off Odisha coast from May 19 morning.
The wind speed will increase becoming gale. Wind speed reaching 75-85 kmph, gusting to 95 kmph from May 20 morning is likely along and off the north Odisha coast.
At present, squally wind speed reaching 80-90 kmph gusting to 100 kmph is prevailing over southeast and adjoining southwest Bay of Bengal.
It is likely to increase, becoming 125-135 kmph gusting to 150 kmph over southern parts of central Bay of Bengal by Monday morning, 160-170 kmph gusting to 190 kmph over northern parts of central Bay of Bengal and adjoining north Bay of Bengal on May 19 and 155-165 kmph gusting to 180 kmph over north Bay of Bengal on May 20.
Sea condition will be very high over southwest and adjoining central Bay of Bengal during the next 24 hours.
It will become phenomenal over southern parts of central Bay of Bengal from Sunday night, over northern parts of central Bay of Bengal and adjoining north Bay of Bengal on May 19 and over north Bay of Bengal on May 20.
Fishermen have been advised not to venture into north Bay of Bengal along and off West Bengal-Odisha coasts from May 18 to 21 and those who are out in the sea, were asked to return to coasts by May 17.
Distant Warning Signal No.2 (DC-2) was hoisted at all ports of Odisha.