The National Center for Hydrology and Meteorology (NCHM) forecast rainfall in the country in the next two to three days as a result of a cyclonic storm, Fani.

The storm had formed over the southern Bay of Bengal around 27th April. According to NDTV, a 24-hour Indian news channel, the Severe Cyclonic Storm over Southeast and adjoining Southwest Bay of Bengal moved north-northwestwards with the speed of about 16 km/h in last six hours.

It is expected to intensify into very severe cyclonic storm to extremely severe cyclonic storm during the next 48 hours.

World Meteorological Organisation cyclonic classification categorises very severe cyclonic storm with a wind average of 119 to 221 km/h and the extremely severe cyclonic storms with 166 to 221 km/h.

Fani is about 690 km from Chennai and may move towards Odisha coast after Wednesday.  According to India Meteorological Department, Fani is likely to hit land on May 3.

Deputy Chief of Weather and Climate Services Division of NCHM Tayba Buddha Tamang said that the impact of the cyclone on Bhutan can be known after landfall.

“After two to three days over sea, the cyclone passes over land, it is termed landfall,” he said.

Impact on Bhutan  

 Heavy rainfall, strong winds and storm surge is expected over the landfall areas of the coast of India. Bhutan may receive rain after landfall as the cyclone intensity would weaken after landfall due to limited moisture from land, said Tayba Buddha Tamang.

As the country is located far away from sea and landfall area, Bhutan would not have direct impacts like windstorms and flood.

He added that Bhutan falls under huge cyclone cloud coverage of 1000 km. “An indirect impact on Bhutan is that in the next 72 hours, we may receive rainfall in the isolated parts of eastern Bhutan.”

However, the report clarified that the rainfall received in the eastern parts of the country on 29 April was not due to the cyclone. Deothang meteorology station recorded the heaviest rainfall of 267 mm and Mongar 37.4 mm and Lhuentse 35.2 mm.

“It was due to convection rain which occurs during seasonal transition from winter to summer every three months. It is natural,” Tayba Buddha Tamang said.

Convective rainfall is a form of precipitation which is generally intense and occurs for a short duration over isolated areas.

The name “Fani” pronounced “Foni” was suggested by Bangladesh and means the hood of a snake.

Choki Wangmo