That record-breaking total will rise significantly during through early November as a new storm in the Arabian Sea--Tropical Cyclone Maha, which formed on October 30 off the southwest coast of India--follows a path to the northwest and then west across the Arabian Sea, intensifying to near category 3 strength by November 5, according to the 11 am EDT October 31 forecast from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Once the storm consolidated, it intensified quickly and became a tropical storm just off the southwest India coast. India evacuated almost 300,000 people and closed schools and colleges in preparation for the storm. Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) across the Arabian Sea have been boosted for months by one of the strongest positive modes on record of the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD). The first cyclone of this history-making pair was notable by itself. 9 hours ago — Sun Sun Lim and Roland Bouffanais | Opinion.
On May 2, Tropical Cyclone Fani, which formed in the Bay of Bengal off the east coast of India, peaked with 155 mph winds. Kyarr has reached wind speeds equivalent to a super typhoon in the Pacific Ocean. The basin has seen 4 named storms, 4 hurricanes, 2 intense (category 3+) hurricanes, and an ACE index of 65.2. Subscribers get more award-winning coverage of advances in science & technology. Scientific American is part of Springer Nature, which owns or has commercial relations with thousands of scientific publications (many of them can be found at, Gonu, 2007 (165 mph winds, the only cat 5 on record in the Arabian Sea). Kyarr's peak sustained winds hit 250 kph, … As of 11 am EDT October 31, 2019, the total ACE for the 2019 North Indian Ocean season was 65.2. Jeff Masters worked as a hurricane scientist with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990. The North Indian Ocean has seen four named storms so far in 2019. Three formed in the Bay of Bengal (to the east of India)--category 4 Fani, category 2 Vayu, and category 2 Hikaa--and one formed in the Arabian Sea (to the west of India)--category 4 Kyarr. The Indian Ocean storms have also accumulated more energy than any other year on record -- dating back to 1972 -- according to Phil Klotzbach, tropical meteorologist at Colorado State University. The records are 10 named storms (1992), 5 hurricanes (1998), and 3 intense hurricanes (1999). For the 172 tropical cyclones that formed over North Indian Ocean during 1983–2015, 56 formed over Arabian Sea, and 116 formed over the Bay of Bengal. The image showed that there is a large band of powerful thunderstorms circling Kyarr’s low-level center of circulation. But with Kyarr’s formation, we have now seen five since 2014: Nilofar in 2014, Chapala and Megh in 2015, Ockhi in 2017, and now Kyarr in 2019. According to the NOAA Historical Hurricane Tracks database, only four other category 4 or stronger tropical cyclones besides Kyarr have been recorded in the Arabian Sea, where reliable satellite data extends back to 1998: Gonu, 2007 (165 mph winds, the only cat 5 on record in the Arabian Sea) Accumulated Cyclone Energy is a measure of the total destructive power of a hurricane season, based on the number of days strong winds are observed. Tropical Cyclone Kyarr as seen on October 27, 2019, by NASA’s Aqua satellite. There is a heavy rainfall warning in effect that calls for light to moderate rainfall in most places. In addition, infrared satellite imagery showed that Kyarr has a solid core of strong convection – that is, rising air which forms the thunderstorms that make up a tropical cyclone, wrap around the low-level circulation center. (CNN)A rare tropical cyclone barreling across the Arabian Sea has reached the intensity of a Category 4 hurricane, becoming the strongest storm recorded in the area for 12 years. According to the Real-Time Tropical Cyclone Activity page of Colorado State University, the North Indian Ocean has been more active than average in all respects this year. (There was also one such storm recorded before the onset of reliable satellite data in 1998, though: an unnamed November 1977 cyclone). Chapala, 2015 (140 mph winds)
By Jack Guy, Brandon Miller and Omar Khan, CNN, Updated 1601 GMT (0001 HKT) October 29, 2019. Cyclone Kyarr was formed near the southwestern coast of India on October 25, 2019. Maximum sustained winds were 55 knots (63 mph/102 kph). During the June – September peak of the monsoon, tropical cyclones are uncommon, due to interference from the monsoon circulation. Kyarr is the 4th hurricane -- or typhoon -- strength storm in the Indian Ocean basin so far in 2019, the most ever recorded by this point in the year. An average season has 3.1 named storms, 0.8 hurricanes, 0.5 intense hurricanes, and an ACE index of 10.7 by October 31.
Explore our digital archive back to 1845, including articles by more than 150 Nobel Prize winners. © 2020 Scientific American, a Division of Nature America, Inc. Support our award-winning coverage of advances in science & technology. ACE for an individual storm is computed by squaring the maximum sustained winds of the storm at each 6-hourly advisory and summing up over the entire lifetime of the storm. Kyarr hit an equivalent intensity to a category 4 hurricane. In addition, infrared satellite imagery showed that Kyarr has a solid core of strong convection – that is, rising air which forms the thunderstorms that make up a tropical cyclone, wrap around the low-level circulation center. The four Northern Indian Ocean tropical cyclones of 2019 have combined to produce the most active tropical cyclone season in recorded history for the basin, when measured by Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE). Since 2005, his Wunderblog (now called Category 6) has been one of the Internet's most popular sources of extreme weather and climate change information, and he is one of the most widely quoted experts in the field. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of Scientific American. Vayu was the most powerful storm to impact the Saurashtra Peninsula in north-west India since 1998, when a tropical cyclone with winds of 195 kph (120 mph) killed around 10,000 people. As those ridges strengthen and build, Kyarr is forecast to turn to the northwest and rapidly intensify. Climatologically, the Bay of Bengal sees about twice as many tropical cyclones as the Arabian Sea. The JTWC expects the storm will peak after three days, but will then start to weaken on approach to the Oman coastline. Cyclone Kyarr: 20 UAE families moved to hotel apartments Homes flooded as high winds cause waves to crash ashore in coastal areas Published: October 30, 2019 04:21 Aghaddir Ali, Senior Reporter Kyarr formed early on Oct. 25 from a low-pressure area designated as System 97A in the northern Indian Ocean. Kyarr's peak sustained winds hit 250 kph, whereas Gonu's peak winds reached around 270kph. Tropical Storm Kyarr formed near the southwestern coast of India, and NASA’s Aqua satellite provided forecasters with a visible image of the storm that revealed it organized quickly. Discover world-changing science. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The North Indian Ocean has had one other named storm in 2019--January’s Tropical Storm Pabuk--but that storm originated in the Northwest Pacific, and is thus not included in the Northern Indian Ocean tallies. A recent increase in powerful late-season Arabian Sea tropical cyclones is linked to human-caused climate change. Microwave satellite imagery revealed the storm had developed an eye, a sign of strengthening. Conversely, if it becomes less rounded or elongated, it is a sign the storm is weakening. It is very likely to increase gradually becoming 90-100 kph (56 to 62 mph). If a storm takes on a more rounded shape it is getting more organized and strengthening. The current positive IOD event is the strongest in at least 60 years and has boosted SSTs in the region where Kyarr rapidly intensified by about 1°C (1.8°F). Fani made landfall on May 3 in eastern India with 150 mph winds, killing 89 and causing over $8 billion in damage. By Rob Gutro
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