A potential weather crisis is looming in the Arabian Sea as a low-pressure area, situated over the southeast and adjoining southwest Arabian Sea, has developed into a depression. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecasted that this depression is expected to intensify into a cyclonic storm by the morning of October 21, 2023. This upcoming cyclone has been christened 'Tej,' following the formula adopted for naming cyclones in the Indian Ocean Region.
This will mark the second cyclonic storm in the Arabian Sea this year, as we remember Cyclone Biparjoy's unexpected course change in June. Initially moving in a north-northwest direction, it subsequently altered its path, making landfall between Mandvi in Gujarat and Karachi in Pakistan, highlighting the unpredictable nature of these meteorological events.
The IMD predicts that Cyclone Tej will not stop at being a cyclonic storm; it is expected to further intensify into a severe cyclonic storm by Sunday. The storm is projected to move towards the south coasts of Oman and adjoining Yemen. However, it is essential to note that the actual track and intensity of these storms can sometimes deviate from the initial predictions, as seen with the recent Cyclone Biparjoy.
Private forecasting agency Skymet Weather has weighed in on the situation, suggesting that a majority of models indicate that Cyclone Tej is heading towards the Yemen-Oman coast. Nonetheless, the Global Forecast System models propose a different scenario, predicting a recurvature while positioned over the deep central parts of the Arabian Sea. This alternative course would steer the system towards Pakistan and the Gujarat coast.
In terms of classification, a cyclonic storm is characterized by a maximum sustained wind speed of 62-88 kmph. When the maximum sustained wind speed reaches 89-117 km per hour, it is termed a severe cyclonic storm.
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