Nisarga: Why is Mumbai facing its first cyclone in a century

ST Staff
Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Nisarga cyclone with gusty winds at the speed of 100-120 kmph hit several parts of the state including Alibaug, Sindhudurg and more.

Cyclone Nisarga has made its impact in Konkan region along with coronavirus ravaged Mumbai. Nisarga cyclone with gusty winds at the speed of 100-120 kmph hit several parts of the state including Alibaug, Sindhudurg and more. The cyclone has moved towards Mumbai, as the heavy rainfall has lashed many parts of the city.

While cyclones forming across the Bay of Bengal and wrecking the coastlines along West Bengal and Odisha are relatively common, what has changed along the coastline of Maharashtra that’s causing a similar phenomenon?

HOW CYCLONES ARE FORMED ACROSS THE OCEANS?
The temperature at the sea surface is the major reason for formation cyclones. Cyclogenesis is formed when the temperature crosses 27 degrees Celsius. Due to the increase in temperature, warm and moist air flows upwards from the surface of the ocean. As the air starts moving upwards a low-pressure belt gets formed on the surface. As cloud formation intensifies winds start spinning. Once the spinning escalates, the eye is formed at the centre of the storm. Wind conditions and temperatures are the main reasons for the formation of storms.

WHAT CAUSED NISARGA CYCLONE IN THE ARABIAN SEA?
The Bay of Bengal has a relatively higher temperature on the surface than the Arabian Sea. It is more prone to cyclones. The Bay of Bengal has helpful weather for the formation of cyclogenesis. On the other hand, in the Arabian Sea, such weather is absent due to coastal lines of Maharashtra and Gujarat remains unscathed. 

Climate change is the major reason stated by experts. The pre-monsoon conditions are not favourable for the cyclones. But if there is a reason for the increased temperature at the sea surface then that is climate change. It will also determine the intensification of the cyclone.

WHAT IMPACT NISARGA WILL HAVE ON MUMBAI?
Mumbai is first time vulnerable for a cyclone and considering its waterlogging conditions it may have a severe impact on Mumbai. The conditions are unpredictable as this side of coast never witnessed anything like this but preparations are made by authorities as it is a mighty cyclone. 

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