Tropical Cyclone 02B Develops over Bay of Bengal

Tropical Cyclone 02B developed over the Bay of Bengal southwest of Port Blair on Saturday morning. At 5:00 a.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Cyclone 02B was located at latitude 9.9°N and longitude 90.9°E which put it about 165 miles (265 km) southwest of Port Blair, Andaman Islands. Tropical Cyclone 02B was moving toward the northwest at 9 m.p.h (15 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 995 mb.

The circulation around a low pressure system over the eastern Bay of Bengal strengthened on Saturday morning and the center was designated as Tropical Cyclone 02B. More thunderstorms formed near the center of Tropical Cyclone 02B. The inner end of a rainband wrapped around the southern side of the center of circulation. Other bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the center. Storms near the center of circulation generated upper level divergence that pumped mass away from the tropical cyclone. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 70 miles (110 km) from the center of circulation.

Tropical Cyclone 02B will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 36 hours. The tropical cyclone will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 31˚C. It will move under the southern part of an upper level ridge over the Bay of Bengal. The upper level ridge will produce easterly winds that will blow toward the top of the low pressure system. Those winds will cause some vertical wind shear, but the shear will not be large enough to prevent intensification. Tropical Cyclone 02B will intensify during the next 36 hours and it could strengthen to the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon.

Tropical Cyclone 02B will move around the southwestern side of a high pressure system over Southeast Asia. The high pressure system will steer the tropical cyclone toward the northwest during the next 36 hours. On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone 02B will move slowly away from the Andaman Islands and the Nicobar Islands. The tropical cyclone will continue to drop locally heavy rain over the Nicobar Islands and the Andaman Islands until it moves farther northwest of those areas. Heavy rain could cause flash floods in some locations.