Vinson Kurian | Thiruvananthapuram | June 12, 2019
The severe cyclone Vayu over East-Central Arabian Sea intensified as a very severe cyclone late Tuesday night, about 420 km west-northwest of Goa, 320 km south-southwest of Mumbai and 420 km nearly south of Veraval.
Early Wednesday morning, it further moved nearly northwards with a speed of about 13 km/hr and lay at about 470 km west-northwest of Goa, 280 km south-southwest of Mumbai (Maharashtra) and 340 km nearly south of Veraval (Gujarat). It is very likely to cross Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva around Veraval and Diu region as a very severe cyclonic storm, India Met Department (IMD) said.
Peak wind speeds at the time of crossing the western Gujarat coast are expected to be in the range of 145- to 155 km/hr gusting to 170 km/hr by Thursday morning. According to an outlook by The Weather Company, an IBM Business, the very severe cyclone will continue to move northward, strengthening in the process, to be upgraded to an extremely severe cyclone later today.
The IBM forecast estimated the closest point of approach of the cyclone to Mumbai as 260 km to the west, by this afternoon. Maximum wind speeds could 55 km/hr gusting to 65 km/hr from a southeasterly direction. According to the US Joint Typhoon Warning Centre, Vayu make a landfall near Veraval (southern Gujarat) before noon on Thursday.
The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts is of the view that the very severe cyclone may travel northwest parallel to the southwest coast of Gujarat before landfall by Thursday evening. According to IBM, the expected risks from the powerful cyclone would be heavy rain, thunderstorms, flooding, wind gusts, and rough seas, besides downed trees, power outages, and damage to buildings.
High rough waves rising up to 10 metres (32 ft, classified as significant wave height) are expected over coastal southern Gujarat on Thursday morning to the same evening. The IBM forecast also estimated accumulated precipitation over parts of Gujarat to be up to 20 cm over a period of two days until Friday dawn. Earlier, the IMD said that it did not expect the very severe cyclone to weaken ahead of the landfall, and that it would pack winds speeding of up to 150 km/hr gusting to 165 km/hr at the time of crossing land. (Source: The Hindu Businessline)