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Role of Andaman Sea in the intensification of cyclones over Bay of Bengal


The cyclones over Bay of Bengal (BoB) have varied socio-economic impacts and meteorological importance. There are considerable uncertainties in predicting the track and intensity of cyclonic systems in the BoB. The present study examines the cyclogenesis characteristics over the BoB and addresses the regional impacts and their importance in terms of intensification of cyclones. An analysis of cyclone track data from 1971–2013 reveals that the cyclones generated in Andaman Sea (a regional sea of BoB) and propagating through central BoB sustain maximum life time. Furthermore, within the BoB, the cyclones originated from Andaman Sea are the most intensified and characterized by highest cyclogenesis potential index. Interestingly, we have found that higher value of mid-tropospheric relative humidity over Andaman Sea during the cyclone period is enhancing the cyclone’s intensity. Climatologically also the Andaman Sea is dominated by higher values of mid-tropospheric relative humidity compared to other regions of BoB. There is no significant distinction between Andaman Sea and rest of the BoB for other meteorological and oceanic parameters that supports cyclogenesis. Climatologically dominant east–west asymmetry in mid-tropospheric relative humidity is enhancing the intensity of cyclones from Andaman Sea. The results will be helpful in understanding the processes of cyclone intensification and useful in the statistical and dynamical prediction of cyclones.

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We acknowledge the support of the Director, IITM. We acknowledge the use of cyclones best track data from JTWC in this study. We thank NCEP/NCAR and ERAI for making available the reanalysis products. We also thank NOAA for the WOA data used in this study. Most of the figures are prepared using Ferret software.

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Correspondence to Sreenivas Pentakota.

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Pentakota, S., Vivek, S. & Seshagiri Rao, K. Role of Andaman Sea in the intensification of cyclones over Bay of Bengal. Nat Hazards 91, 1113–1125 (2018).

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