Very Severe Cyclonic Storm “Titli” about to slam into India, Red alerts issued


Tropical Cyclone "Titli," the 5th named storm of the 2018 North Indian Ocean tropical cyclone season, has rapidly strengthened on October 10 and is now classified as Very Severe Cyclonic Storm. The season has no official bounds, but cyclones tend to form between April and December, with the peak from May to November. Titli is bringing flooding rainfall and strong winds to eastern India and Bangladesh.

At 12:00 UTC (17:30 IST) on October 10, Very Severe Cyclonic Storm "Titli" was located about 280 km (170 miles) south-southeast of Gopalpur, Odisha, and about 230 km (140 miles) southeast of Kalingapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, according to RSMC New Delhi.

Maximum 3-minute sustained wind speeds are about 150 km/h (90 mph) with gusts reaching 165 km/h (105 mph). Minimum central pressure is estimated at 970 hPa. The Dvorak T-number of the storm is T5.0.

The cyclone is moving north-northwestward at 15 km/h (9.2 mph).

Titli is very likely to intensify slightly further during the next 6 hours, RSMC New Delhi said.

It is very likely to move north-northwestwards and cross Odisha and adjoining north Andhra Pradesh coasts close to Gopalpur around the morning of October 11 (LT, UTC+5.5). Thereafter, it is very likely to re-curve northeastwards, move towards Gangetic West Bengal across Odisha and weaken gradually. 

Very Severe Cyclonic Storm "Titli" on October 10, 2018. Credit: NASA/NOAA Suomi NPP/VIIRS

Rainfall warnings

Wind warning

Gale wind speed reaching 140 – 150 km/h (87 –  93 mph), gusting to 165 km/h (102 mph) very likely over west central and adjoining north Bay of Bengal. Along and off south Odisha and adjoining districts of north Andhra Pradesh coasts from tonight LT, October 10, 2018 to forenoon of October 11.

Squally wind speed reaching 80 – 90 km/h (50 – 56 mph) gusting to 100 km/h (62 mph) very likely along and off north Odisha and remaining districts of north Andhra Pradesh coasts during the same period.

Squally winds speed reaching 60 – 70 km/h (37 – 43 mph) gusting 80 km/h (50 mph) will very likely along and off West Bengal coast from tonight onwards.

Sea condition

The sea condition is phenomenal over west central and north Bay of Bengal and along and off south Odisha and adjoining north Andhra Pradesh coasts and very likely continue to remain so until the forenoon of October 11, 2018.

Storm surge warning

A storm surge of a height of about 1.0 m (3.3 feet)  above astronomical tide is very likely to inundate low lying areas of Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh; Ganjam, Khurda and Puri districts of Odisha at the time of landfall.

Damage expected

Damage is expected over districts of Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam of Andhra Pradesh, Gajapati, Ganjam, Khurda, Nayagarh and Puri districts of Odisha:

  • Total destruction of thatched houses/ extensive damage to kutcha houses. Some damage to pucca houses. Potential threat from flying objects.
  • Bending/ uprooting of power and communication poles. Breaking of tree branches and uprooting of large avenue trees.
  • Major damage to Kutcha and and Pucca roads. Flooding of escape routes. Minor disruption of railway.
  • Widespread damage to standing crops, plantations, orchards, falling of green coconuts and tearing of palm fronds. Blowing down of bushy trees.

Action suggested

  • Total suspension of fishing operations.
  • The fishermen are advised not to venture into west central and north Bay of Bengal until October 11, 2018. Those, who are out in deep sea areas are advised return to the coast immediately.
  • Evacuation from coastal areas need to be mobilised. People advised to remain indoors.
  • Judicious regulation of rail and road traffic needed.

Post-landfall Outlook

After the landfall, the very severe cyclonic storm "Titli" is very likely to maintain the intensity of cyclone untill the evening of October 11, while moving northeastwards across Odisha.

As a result, the gale wind speed of 60 – 90 km/h (37 – 56 mph) is very likely to prevail over the interior districts adjacent to south coastal Odisha from morning to afternoon, October 11, and wind speed of 60 – 70 km/h (37 – 44 mph) gusting to 80 km/h (50 mph) over the interior districts adjacent to north coastal Odisha from noon to night, October 11.

It may lead to the breaking of tree branches, uprooting of trees, minor damage to power and communication lines. Damage to thatched huts and standing crops.

Featured image: Very Severe Cyclonic Storm "Titli" at 18:00 UTC on October 10, 2018. Credit: UW-CIMSS

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