Bay of Bengal Storm (MAARUTHA) To Hit Myanmar April 17-18, 2017

APRIL 13, 2017, THURSDAY 

The expected deep depression/tropical cyclone MAARUTHA in the Bay of Bengal will be spawned as a low pressure area today a few hundred kilometres east of the Sri Lankan coast. Forecast models say it will go on ultimately and hit the coast of Myanmar at Sandoway on April 17-18, 2017.

This system will intensify rapidly after forming today evening, Indian Standard Time, IST. It will move rapidly in a north northeasterly direction, strengthening all the time. It will move past Andaman Islands in the next 48-72 hours. By Saturday it will turn into full blown tropical storm.

It remains to be seen if the IMD (Indian Meteorological Department) deems it fit to be a tropical cyclone MAARUTHA or labels it just a deep depression. Our estimate is that the system will be throwing out sustained winds of 65-75 km/h by April 16. A tropical cyclone.

The storm will weaken into a depression before landfall into the Rakhine state of Myanmar near Sandoway on April 18, 2017. It will bring heavy rains to Andaman and Nicobar islands and Myanmar in the coming days. Our estimate is at least 8-10 inches of torrential precipitation.

American GFS model predicts a stronger storm. It envisages the system moving more quickly and hitting Myanmar south of Sittwe on April 16. Thus leaving even less time for authorities in Myanmar to prepare for this imminent quick moving threat. The country's disaster relief personnel should swing into action at the earliest to take preemptive measures to mitigate the losses.

Our advice to tourists in the Andaman and Nicobar islands is to go to nearby storm shelters or leave for the mainland earliest possible. The weather is going to be very nasty in the coming days.

Probable position of Bay of Bengal storm on April 16, 2017.
Disturbed conditions in Bay of Bengal presently. The yellow and red dots denote lightning. The dark blue color shows heavy precipitation.
Total accumulated rainfall till April 22, 2017
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