Salient features of Andhra Pradesh cyclonic storm in the Bay of Bengal during September 1997


During 23–30 September 1997, a rare cyclonic storm has developed close to the Andhra coast, and it has later travelled parallel to coastline northward and finally crossed the land at Chittagong (22°N, 91°E) on 27 September. While translating along the east coast of India, it has produced heavy to very heavy rainfall on the coastal stations causing devastating floods. In this study, we made an attempt to understand the salient causes of this unique cyclone movement. We have analyzed daily fields of wind and relative humidity for 850, 700, 500 hPa and mean daily OLR data to understand the plausible reasons for its movement. The buoy data deployed by National Institute of Ocean Technology, Chennai, Viz. DS5 (15°N, 81°E), DS4 (19°N, 88°E) and SW7 (20°N, 86°E) were analyzed to understand the ocean–atmosphere interaction processes in the west Bay of Bengal during formation of the system. Analysis of OLR over the cyclonic storm region has revealed that the heavy rainfall areas coincide with low OLR (120–180 W m−2). The persistent southward movement of 500 hPa ridge on the eastern wedge of the system along with the steering current at 200 hPa has helped in maintaining the movement of the system parallel to the east coast of India during its life cycle.

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The authors are thankful to Director, IITM, Pune, for keen interest and support during the course of this study. We thank the National Institute of Ocean Technology, Chennai, for buoy data. We also wish to acknowledge the National Centre Environmental Prediction for providing the reanalysis data at their Web site.

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Correspondence to G. R. Chinthalu.

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Chinthalu, G.R., Dharmaraj, T., Dhakate, A.R. et al. Salient features of Andhra Pradesh cyclonic storm in the Bay of Bengal during September 1997. Nat Hazards 62, 613–633 (2012).

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  • Tropical cyclone
  • Bay of Bengal
  • Heavy rainfall
  • Floods steering current