Tropical Cyclone 02B Forms Near Bangladesh

An area of low pressure over the extreme northern portion of the Bay of Bengal developed enough characteristics of a tropical cyclone to be designated Tropical Cyclone 02B.  At 5:00 a.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Tropical Cyclone 02B was located at latitude 21.3°N and longitude 91.4°E which put it about 80 miles south-southwest of Chittagong, Bangladesh.  It was moving toward the north-northeast at 4 m.p.h.  The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1001 mb.

The circulation around Tropical Cyclone 02B slowly organized during the past several days and it now has the structure of a tropical cyclone.  There are several spiral bands of thunderstorms, although most of the thunderstorms are south of the center due to the proximity to land.  The tropical cyclone is over very warm water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 31°C, and it has enough energy to intensify.  However, a large upper level ridge over Asia is generating moderate northeasterly winds over the circulation which is producing moderate vertical wind shear.  Proximity to land will also be an inhibiting factor.  Some modest intensification is possible before the center moves over land.

Tropical cyclone 02B is moving around the western end of a subtropical ridge which is steering it northward toward the coast of Bangladesh.  That general steering pattern is expected to continue for another 24 hours.  Then the easterly winds associated with the upper level ridge over Asia are expected to turn Tropical Cyclone 02B toward the west.  On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone 02B could make landfall over Bangladesh in approximately 24 hours.  Given the bathymetry of the northern Bay of Bengal and the shape of the coast of Bangladesh some storm surge is possible.  Locally heavy rainfall could contribute to flooding as the tropical cyclone moves inland.