A storm brewing in the Bay of Bengal is likely to be a significant one for India and Bangladesh next week.
When this storm forms, it will be the first of the year for the Northern Indian Ocean and receive the name Amphan.
Weather models have been forecasting tropical cyclone development in the Bay of Bengal for several days.
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“This area has been steadily strengthening and becoming more organized,” CNN meteorologist Jennifer Gray said. “This could be a powerful storm before it impacts India or Bangladesh next week.”
It’s too early to be specific with the impacts, timing and landfall location. Still, the storm is expected to track generally to the north and be felt in areas of northeast India and Bangladesh by midweek.
The sea surface temperatures in the region are very warm, providing ample fuel for Amphan to become the equivalent of a major hurricane. Forecast models have consistently shown the storm becoming quite strong.
This comes at a time of many firsts throughout the tropics. The first typhoon of the year rapidly developed and slammed into the Philippines Thursday night. Meanwhile, the first tropical storm of the year in the Atlantic appears poised to develop near the Bahamas this weekend.
May is not an unusual time to get tropical cyclones in the Northern Indian Ocean.
This region of the world has two distinct tropical cyclone seasons - April to June and October to November. This marks the months immediately before and after the southwest Indian monsoon season. During the monsoon season upper level winds are not favorable for tropical cyclone development.