GUWAHATI, May 2 - A part of the cyclone �Fani� has hit the Odisha coast this evening and its landfall process is likely to continue till tomorrow afternoon. After the landfall, the system is very likely to continue to move north-northeastward, weaken gradually and enter West Bengal as a severe cyclonic storm with the wind speed of 90 to 100 kmph gusting to 115 kmph.
Providing the information, sources in the Borjhar-based Regional Meteorology Centre (RMC) said here this evening that the cyclonic storm is very likely to move further north-northeastwards and enter Bangladesh on the evening of May 4 as a cyclonic storm with wind speed of 60 to 70 kmph gusting to 80 kmph.
The India Meteorology Department (IMD) is tracking the cyclone by Doppler Weather Radars located at Vishakhapatnam and Machilipatnam.
�Fani� will have maximum impact over the NE region leading to heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places, particularly over West Assam and Garo Hills areas of Meghalaya on May 4 and 5. The rainfall activities would be accompanied by strong wind with the wind speed varying between 30 and 40 kmph and it will persist for quite sometime.
Pre-monsoon rainfall is expected to turn intense from this evening itself over the NE region. This will result in widespread rainfall activities, that is � rainfall covering 76 per cent to 100 per cent areas, over Arunachal Pradesh and Assam-Meghalaya. Under the impact of �Fani�, this condition is expected to continue till May 5, said RMC sources.
However, sources clarified that today and tomorrow�s widespread rainfall over the region is the result of the cyclonic circulation over Central Assam and neighbourhood which is extending up to 0.9 km above the sea level.
On May 5, �Fani� will dissipate in to a low pressure area over West Assam and its neighbourhood. On May 6, rainfall will start decreasing over the region and turn into a fairly widespread, covering 51 per cent to 75 per cent of the areas over the NE region. Rainfall that day is very likely to occur over Arunachal Pradesh, Assam-Meghalaya Meteorological Sub-divisions and Nagaland.
Today scattered rainfall is occurring at a few places over Nagaland-Manipur-Mizoram-Tripura (NMMT) Meteorological Sub-division. Between 51 per cent and 75 per cent of the places of the Met sub-division will receive rainfall tomorrow and May 4 and 5, 76 per cent to 100 per cent places over the met sub-division will receive rainfall. And on May 6, a few places of the over the Met sub-division will receive rainfall, said the RMC sources.
Meanwhile, Dr Rahul Mahanta, Co-ordinator of the Interdisciplinary Climate Research Centre (ICRC), Cotton University stated in a statement here this evening, �Fani is crawling just east of due north at 12-14 kmph, continuing to gain strength over the warm seas in the Bay of Bengal. Water temperatures there range from the mid- to upper 20s, a few degrees above normal, which supports further intensification during the next day or so. As Fani approaches the coast, it is forecast to weaken slightly.�
If it moves towards north east India, we can expect a heavy rainfall with potential �heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places with isolated extremely heavy rainfall,� he said.
�Northeast India is accustomed to monsoonal moisture this time of the year - but is not equipped to handle a month�s worth of rainfall coming down in a few hours. In addition to urban flood concerns in Guwahati proper, excessive runoff could overwhelm the rivers. That may cause flash flooding along their banks for surrounding rural communities,� said Dr Mahanta.