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Generally, the Cyclones are produced by atmospheric disturbances around a low-pressure area characterized by sudden and often destructive air circulation. Cyclones are normally followed by severe storms and bad weather. The air flows inward in an anticlockwise direction in the Northern territory and clockwise in the Southern territory. Read further to know more about the types of cyclones in India.
What is a Cyclone?
The term Cyclone is obtained from the Greek word Cyclones meaning the coils of a snake. This term is coined by Henry Peddington because the tropical storms in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea appear like coiled serpents.
The temperature variation between the warm, rising and cooler environment directed to the rise of air to convert floating and then moves upward. Then the high-pressure space fills the air in the low-pressure area. This cycle perpetuates as warm air rises and a low-pressure area packed with cool air. They build up over a while. Then, the entire system of clouds and breeze spins and grows, supported by the ocean’s heat and water evaporating from the ocean.
Thus, the reasons for the formation of the cyclones can be sorted as
- Sufficient warm temperature at the sea surface
- Instability in the atmosphere
- The impact area of Coriolis, where low pressure is developed
- High humidity range in the lower middle levels of the troposphere
- Low-level focus and disturbances
- Low vertical wind range
Types of Cyclones
1. Tropical Cyclone
Tropical Cyclones occurs over tropical ocean areas. The two types of Tropical Cyclones are Hurricanes and Typhoons. Particularly, Hurricanes are observed in the Atlantic and Northeast Pacific. And, Typhoons are found in the Northwest Pacific. Based on energy and wind speed, this cyclone is divided into five sections 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5. Section 5 becomes a wind speed of 155 mph or above.
When a tropical storm increases, the air rises in strong thunderstorms and manages to spread out horizontally at the tropopause level. Once air flows out, a positive disturbance pressure at high levels is presented, which accelerates the descending motion of air due to convection. Commonly, the ‘Eye’ of the storms has three basic shapes
A tropical cyclone starts to decline in times of its central low pressure, internal temperature and extremely high speeds, as soon as its origin of warm moist air begin to ebb, or is abruptly cut off. The weakening of a cyclone does not mean that the threat is over.
2. Polar Cyclone
The Polar Cyclone as the title suggests occurs over Polar Regions of Greenland, Siberia and Antarctica. It is active throughout the winter season. Polar vortices are most vulnerable during summer and strongest in winter.
The Mesocyclone is a whirlwind of air within a convective storm. It is the air that lifts and circulates a vertical axis, usually in the same direction as low-pressure systems in a given region. These types of cyclones are followed by the rotating air inside the thunderstorm.
List of Cyclones in India
Read here for the names of cyclones in India over certain years. Also know about the list of cyclones in India 2021 and about the biggest cyclone in India.
|SL||Name of the Cyclone||Year||About the Cyclone|
|2021||Tauktae caused massive rainfall and powerful gusty winds in South India, Gujarat, Goa and Maharashtra. Also, made landfall on the southern coast of the Saurashtra peninsula in Gujarat.|
|2020||The storm made landfall near the coastal town of Alibag in Maharashtra on June 3. It was the first cyclone to make landfall in Maharashtra after Cyclone Phyan in the year 2009|
|2019||Fani was a severe cyclonic storm that hit the Indian state of Odisha. Causing massive destruction killing over 40 people, eradicating trees and the communication system. Fani rapidly intensified into an extremely severe cyclonic storm and reached its peak intensity on May 2, as a high-end extremely severe cyclonic storm. It was equivalent to a high-end Category 4 major hurricane.|
|2018||Cyclone Titli caused huge rainfall in western Uttar Pradesh and the Indian capital of New Delhi. Rainfall topped at Meerut in Uttar Pradesh which received 226 mm of rain in 24 hours. The river Yamuna passed the emergency level and moved to 205.5 meters by July 29, resulting in evacuation.|
|2017||Cyclone Ockhi was the powerful and one of the most active tropical cyclone of the 2017 North Indian Ocean cyclone. Ockhi from the Arabian Sea struck mainland India along with coastal areas of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat. A result of 245 people lost their lives as an impact of this cyclone|
|2016||Vardah brought heavy rainfall to Andaman and Nicobar Islands and then crossed the eastern coast of India and affected Chennai, Kancheepuram and Visakhapatnam. 38 people had lost their lives in the aftermath of the cyclone. Originating as a low-pressure area near the Malay Peninsula on December 3, the storm designated a depression on December 6. It gradually intensified into a Deep Depression on the following day, skirting off the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and intensified into a Cyclonic Storm on December 8.|
|2015||Cyclonic Storm Komen after hitting Bangladesh penetrated India and produced the most serious flooding over East India killing 285 people.|
|2014||Cyclone Hudhud was a heavy tropical cyclone, that created destruction to Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. Visakhapatnam or Vizag along with Odisha was mostly stirred by Hudhud. At least 124 people had lost their lives and caused massive destruction.|
|2013||Cyclonic storm Phailin was the most powerful tropical cyclone. The system was first noted as a tropical depression on October 4, 2013, within the Gulf of Thailand, to the west of Phnom Penh in Cambodia.|
|2013||Helen was a comparatively weak tropical cyclone that developed in the Bay of Bengal Region on November 18, 2013, from the remains of Tropical Storm Podul. It was named Deep Depression BOB 06 by the IMD on November 19.|
|2012||Nilam was the most dangerous tropical cyclone to immediately affect South India since Cyclone Jal in 2010. It reached landfall near Mahabalipuram on October 31 and seawater reached nearly 100 m (330 ft) inland. This cyclone recorded 75 deaths.|
|2011||Cyclonic Storm Thane created landfall over Cuddalore in Tamilnadu on 30 December which indicates the most advanced date for a cyclone to make landfall anywhere in the Indian Ocean.|
|2010||Storm Laila caused massive damage and 65 people were killed. It survived the first cyclone to hit South India during the pre-monsoon season in 20 years|
|2009||Phyan emerged as a tropical disturbance to the southwest of Colombo in Sri Lanka on November 4, 2009. It made landfall in Southern India on November 7. Cyclone Phyan produced substantial rainfall in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Gujarat.|
|1999||Odisha cyclone was the most energetic registered tropical cyclone in the North Indian Ocean and among the deadliest in the region. It formed into a tropical depression in the Andaman Sea on 25 October. The destruction leads to 15,000 deaths. Also in the record as the biggest cyclone in India.|
Features of Cyclones in India
The Indian subcontinent is one of the most seriously affected regions in the world, which is exposed to nearly 10 per cent of the world’s tropical cyclones. The majority of them have their origin over the Bay of Bengal and beat the East coast of India. On criterion, five to six tropical hurricanes form every year, of which two or three could be critical. Tropical cyclones happen in the periods of May-June and October-November. Storms of severe intensity and regularity in the North Indian Ocean are bi-modal, with their primary peak in November and secondary peak in May. The hazard potential is especially high during landfall in the North Indian Ocean.
Notably, the storm waves cause the greatest destruction as seawater submerges low lying areas of coastal regions and produces heavy floods. Cyclones range in diameter from 50 to 320 km but their results dominate thousands of square kilometers of the ocean surface and the lower atmosphere. Cyclones are identified by their destructive potential to ruin structures like houses, lifeline infrastructure and communication towers, hospitals, food storage facilities, roads etc.
Regional names of cyclone
- Typhoons – China Sea
- Tropical Cyclones – Indian Ocean
- Hurricanes – Caribbean Sea
- Tornadoes – USA
- Wily Willies – Northern Australia
- Baguio – Philippines
- Taifu – Japan
Cyclone Prone Areas in India
According to the record maintained by the Meteorological department, India is stated as a Country prone to storms and cyclones. The areas of Union Terrorises in India are prone to earthquakes, droughts and floods. The states namely, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil-Nadu, UT Puducherry, Gujarat, West Bengal are having the highest rate of possibility to be affected by cyclones and natural disasters.
Indian Meteorological Department
Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), formulated the below classification which sorts the low-pressure systems in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea based on capacity to damage.
|Type of Disturbances||Wind Speed in Km/h||Wind Speed in Knots|
|Low Pressure||Less than 31||Less than 17|
|Severe Cyclonic Storm||88-117||47-63|
|Super Cyclone||More than 221||More than 120|
Here the cyclone classification is made as per the capacity of damage or destruction caused
|Category||Wind Speed in Km/h||Damage Capacity|
|5||250 and above||Catastrophic|
Warnings by Indian Meteorological Department
|1||Watch||In 72 hours in advance, the development of a cyclonic disturbance in the north Indian Ocean and the coastal region likely to experience adverse weather.|
|2||Alert||Issued 48 hours, adverse weather over the coastal areas.|
|3||Warning||In 24 hours in advance, adverse weather over the coastal areas. The location of landfall is discussed at this stage.|
|4||Outlook||Issued 12 hours in advance, the adverse weather over the coastal areas. The track of the cyclone after the landfall and the possible impact inland is discussed at this stage.|
Awareness needed before the Cyclone Season
Make sure to keep your area and house protected. Eliminate dead branches or decaying trees near the house. Make everything firm and steady to avoid accidents and damages for other human beings. Seek protection from glass windows and other materials which can cause a tear or wound on the body. In case the breakage of such items happens amidst the storm, make sure that doesn’t cause a massive wound to the people living in the house.
Try to use wooden products which are harmless compared to glass materials in such situations. Store torches, lamps and other types of equipment to be used as a substitution for the power supply, as the storms and hurricanes will fail power supply. Store essential food items which aren’t perishable and collect some to be used in terms of emergency needs. Along with that, be reminded to store the necessary medicines and first aid kit.
At the Time of Cyclone
Be alert with the news and radio news to be alerted about the warnings. In case of emergency warnings, be alert and take the resolution steps that is mentioned by the higher authorities. Keep monitoring the warnings and do according to the instructions and guidelines. Avoid over panic and always try to take the necessary resolutions. Be together and don’t move to isolation at the time of risk. Try to be calm and switch the electrical devices to avoid such hazards. Gather the extra food and water. Make sure you bring the children and older ones to the proper security.
At the Time of Evacuation
At the time of evacuation, make sure not to take too many items with you. Take the essentials, medicines and food for babies. Don’t try to panic about the property. Remain in the shelter as per the guidelines of the official and patiently wait for the storm to pass.
After the Cyclone
Report the loss of property happened to the officials with authentic proofs. Make sure to get the property rebuilt and try to keep the area free of dirt. Don’t let the dirt from the remains of the storm create an unhealthy environment especially for the children and babies. Be alert about the power supply and the damages that might have happened to it. If you are planning to move to some other parts, make sure to travel safely and drive accordingly. Help to support those in need and provide mental care to nearby ones.