Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features Cyclone Biparjoy, which is expected to cause severe destruction as it makes landfall along the coast of western India and southern Pakistan.
“The long-lived cyclone had wind speeds of 129 kilometers (80 miles) per hour on June 14, making it a category 1 storm on the Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale. The storm had spent eight days in the Arabian Sea, generally moving slowly north, until it took a turn to the east on June 14,” said NASA.
“Biparjoy was forecast to make landfall around 5:30 p.m. local time on June 15 as a “very severe cyclonic storm” with a sustained wind speed of 125 to 135 kilometers per hour, impacting India’s western state of Gujarat and the densely populated city of Karachi in Pakistan. In preparation for landfall, more than 30,000 people and 200,000 animals had reportedly been evacuated to higher ground.”
“Strong winds, rain, and high tides from the cyclone have already lashed several regions in western India. Multiple deaths have been reported, including drownings off the coast of Mumbai.”
According to NASA, the cyclone has been fueled by unusually warm waters helped fuel the rapid intensification of Cyclone Biparjoy.
India’s Meteorological Department reports that Biparjoy may become the longest-lived cyclone in the Arabian Sea, a record which is held by Cyclone Kyarr. In 2019, the powerful storm persisted for nine days and 15 hours.
“The reason why Biparjoy has lasted so long is that it is feeding on warm waters in the Arabian Sea,” said Raghu Murtugudde, a visiting professor at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. “Biparjoy is an example of how climate change – especially warming in the upper ocean – is contributing to cyclones moving slower and lasting longer.”
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory