It will be a rare instance of a cyclone hitting the coasts of Bangladesh and Myanmar in March if the low-pressure system brewing in the Bay of Bengal develops into a full-fledged cyclone "Asani".
If that happens, the cyclone could hit the coasts of Bangladesh and Myanmar by March 22 as projected by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), reports our New Delhi correspondent. According to cyclone atlas put up on IMD website, there have been only eight cyclonic disturbances in March in the North Indian Ocean region, which includes Bay of Bengal, between 1891 and 2021.
"Cyclones in March in the North Indian Ocean are very few but not rare… In the month of March, we do not get many intense systems," IMD Director General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, told The Indian Express. Mohapatra said weather systems during March mostly originate towards the southern Bay of Bengal mainly due to warm seas.
He said March is a month of seasonal transition from winter to summer. "Usually, heating over the central and northern Bay of Bengal regions is still picking up and may not be sufficiently warm enough to fuel a strong cyclone, especially in March," he added.
According to latest updates shared by IMD yesterday, it is likely to cross Bangladesh and north Myanmar on the morning of March 22, sparing mainland India. By Saturday, it is expected to become a well-marked low pressure area (wind speed less than 31 km/hr) and on Sunday, it may turn into a depression (wind speeds between 31 and 50 km/hr).
The maximum intensity it may go up to is that of a cyclone with wind speeds ranging between 70-80 km/ hr," Mohapatra said. According to IMD's cyclone atlas maintained for this period, a majority were cyclonic disturbances in 1907, 1924, 1925, 1928, 1938, 1994, 2000 and 2018, which remained as depressions either formed in the Bay of Bengal or the Arabian Sea.