The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a warning that cyclonic circulation may develop over the southeast Bay of Bengal around May 6, 2023, and could potentially intensify into a cyclonic storm. The IMD stated in a press release on May 3 that this circulation could create a low-pressure area over the same region by May 7, which could then develop into a depression by May 8. The depression will move northwards toward the central Bay of Bengal, where it is likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm. The potential cyclone has been named ‘Cyclone Mocha’ – the first of the year.
The IMD is constantly monitoring the situation and will provide updates on the path and intensity of the potential storm as the situation develops. According to a report by PTI, the disturbance over the Bay of Bengal is expected to cause winds of 40 to 50 kilometers per hour above the southeast Bay of Bengal and surrounding areas on May 7, with the possibility of speeds increasing to 60 to 70 kilometers per hour. The IMD has advised fishermen, small ships, boats, and trawlers not to travel in and around the southeast Bay of Bengal from May 7, and for people who are already in these areas to move to safer locations before May 7.
The potential formation of Cyclone Mocha is the first storm warning of the year, with no cyclonic storms occurring over the Indian seas in April 2023. This marks the fourth consecutive year without a tropical storm in April. However, there is some debate on the likelihood of the storm forming, as private Indian weather forecasting company Skymet Weather Services has predicted little chance of a tropical storm in the first half of May 2023.
Despite this, the IMD has stressed the importance of monitoring the situation and taking necessary precautions to ensure safety in the affected regions. “Some models are suggesting that it would be a cyclone. We are keeping a watch. Updates will be provided regularly,” said Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, Director General of Meteorology at the IMD.