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Super Cyclone Amphan Heads Towards India/Bangladesh!

By Team Morecast

After undergoing rapid intensification, Super Cyclone Amphan became the strongest storm ever recorded in the Bay of Bengal by reaching peak wind speeds of 270 kph (165 mph) on Monday night. The monster storm is now on track to strike India and Bangladesh within the next 24 hours. Evacuations are underway as millions of people in both countries are in the storm’s path.

The storm is forecast to make landfall near the border of India and Bangladesh, with the Indian city of Kolkata directly in its path. The region has a vast population, and Kolkata has over 14 million residents.

Although the cyclone has weakened significantly from its peak, with winds currently around 165 kph( 103 mph), it is still a formidable storm, and will bring with it a multitude of hazards including flooding rains, damaging winds, and catastrophic storm surge.

Storm surge is likely to be the most severe along the coast of Bangladesh, as it will be in the right front quadrant of the storm, the area in which winds are highest for tropical cyclones in the Northern Hemisphere. The coast of Bangladesh is very low lying, and this will further exacerbate the surge by allowing the water to flow farther inland. Also, given that the storm was once much stronger than its current state, it still contains the wave energy from its peak. This will make the surge greater than a normal storm of its current magnitude.

Amphan is tied with Cyclone Harold, which occurred last month, as the strongest tropical cyclone of 2020 thus far. Amphan is also one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded in the northern
Indian Ocean.