Upper Ocean and Subsurface Variability in the Bay of Bengal During Cyclone ROANU: A Synergistic View Using In Situ and Satellite Observations

  • Samiran Mandal
  • Sourav Sil
  • Abhijit Shee
  • R. Venkatesan


In this study, the upper ocean and subsurface variability during the different phases of the cyclonic storm ROANU along the western Bay of Bengal (BoB) in May 2016 are investigated by using the moored buoys, Argos, HF radar and satellite datasets in the proximity of the cyclone track. The moored buoy observations recorded a decrease of sea surface temperature (SST) by ~ 1 °C all over the track, whereas increase in salinity by ~ 1.5 PSU was detected along with the highest wind speed of 16 m s−1, pressure drop of 14 hPa and air temperature drop of 4 °C. The cooling at the cyclone centers from the satellite data indicated higher (lower) SST drops when translation speed of the cyclone was low (high) and took more (less) time to recover to its pre-cyclone state in southern (northern) BoB. Mostly, higher SST drop was observed along the right side of the cyclone track. Interestingly, the opposite phenomenon occurred before landfall, where SST drop was higher on the left due to upwelling in the head bay as observed both from wave rider buoy (WRB) at Digha and satellite SST. The WRB near Vizag showed the maximum increase in significant wave heights by ~ 2.4 m during the passage of cyclone. Argos also captured cyclone-induced drop in temperature due to upwelling and entrainment reasonably well. In the southwestern bay, significant upwelling was observed from the Argos with drop in temperature and increase in salinity in the upper layers. However, a strong stratification was observed from Argos in the northwestern BoB due to lesser salinity and higher precipitation. The currents from in situ as well as HF radar datasets measured the increase in current magnitude during the passage of ROANU. Rotary spectral analysis showed strong inertial currents with frequency ~ 2.1 days at BD11 location, with higher amplitudes of the clockwise component during the cyclone period.


Bay of Bengal ROANU cyclone Argo OMNI buoys Inertial currents HF radar 



The authors appreciatively acknowledge the financial support given by the Earth System Science Organization (ESSO)—Indian National Centre for Oceanic Information Services (INCOIS), Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), and Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India. Also, the authors acknowledge Dr. B. K. Jena and his Coastal and Environmental Engineering Group and the Ocean Observation Systems Group, National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), Chennai, for constant monitoring of the HF radars and the moored OMNI buoys, and DMG, INCOIS Hyderabad, India, for making the data availability efficient. The authors are thankful to the editor, associate editor and anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions, which have helped to improve the quality of the manuscript. Finally, the authors also acknowledge the Indian Institute of Technology Bhubaneswar (IITBBS) for the infrastructure.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Earth, Ocean and Climate SciencesIndian Institute of Technology BhubaneswarJatniIndia
  2. 2.Ocean Observation Systems GroupNational Institute of Ocean TechnologyChennaiIndia

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