According to records from the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Cyclonic storm Fani, lying about 600 km east of Vishakhapatnam and 800 km south of Puri, is the cyclonic storm that is the first severe, to have formed in April in India since 1976.
K.J. Ramesh, Director-General, IMD says that we have to be prepared for such occurrences and take precautions which are due to global warming. Due to the warming of the Bay of Bengal basin, there is unusual formation and its protracted gestation may lead to its gaining strength. He further stated that Fani is unlikely to have an impact on the advent of the monsoon. The data from the IMD’s cyclone-statistics unit shows that the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea from 1965-2017, have collectively registered 46 ‘severe cyclonic storms.’ Around 28 of them were from October-December. 7 of them have been in May and only 2 – in 1966 and 1976 – were recorded in April.
The cyclones are ranked by IMD on a 5-point scale with the mildest at 62-88 kmph and the strongest, a ‘super cyclonic storm’, at 221 kmph. As forecasted by IMD, Cyclone Fani is expected to emerge as an ‘extremely severe cyclonic storm’ and make landfall in Orissa by May 4. In north Andhra Pradesh and Odisha heavy rains are expected and in West Bengal light rains are expected under the influence of the cyclone. In Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and South Andhra strong winds are expected. Fishermen are advised to stay away from the sea.