New Delhi, October 15: India is set to witness frequent and more intense cyclones over Bay of Bengal during October-November 2020, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) had said. According to IMD Chief M Mohapatra, the country will see a relatively higher frequency of cold waves is during the winter season this year. The change in the weather conditions is because the ‘La Nina’ conditions have set in in India. Mohapatra, the director general of IMD, was quoted in a report by Hindustan Times saying that a forecast will be issued in November for the winter months. Rain Alert: Heavy Rainfall to Lash Parts of Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat Today; Flood-Like Situation, Damage to Crops Expected.

The La Nina years are associated with a higher frequency of intense cyclones over Bay of Bengal and colder winters. In October, the IMD in its El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) bulletin had said that weak La Nina conditions have been prevailing over equatorial Pacific and sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are below normal over central and eastern equatorial Pacific. According to the HT report, the latest forecast indicates that and weak La Niña conditions will likely turn into moderate La Nina conditions during the coming months and sustain till early next year.

What is La Nina:

La Nina is a weather pattern that occurs in the Pacific Ocean. In this pattern, strong winds blow warm water at the ocean's surface from South America to Indonesia. As the warm water moves west, cold water from the deep rises to the surface near the coast of South America. La Nina refers to the periodic cooling of ocean surface temperatures in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific. Basically, La Nina events occur every 3 to 5 years or so, but on occasion can occur over successive years. La Nina represents the cool phase of the El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle.

The IMD said that so far, no cyclone has developed this October yet. However, the depression that has been formed over Maharashtra and north interior Karnataka have now moved west-northwestwards and weakened into a well-marked low-pressure area over south Madhya Maharashtra.

The IMD prediction reveals that once the low pressure merges with the Arabian Sea, it is likely to intensify once again with energy from the ocean. Following which it is very likely to move west-northwestwards and over eastcentral Arabian Sea off the Maharashtra coast around October 16. Monsoon withdrawal from northwest India will resume only after these weather systems subside and rain stops.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Oct 15, 2020 03:13 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website