While the tropical storm and cyclone season for the northern hemisphere has been relatively quiet this year, the last few weeks has seen a spike in activity with three tropical cyclones currently active.
The north Indian Ocean sees tropical storms develop during two periods of the year – April to June and October to December.
Cyclone Phailin formed in the Bay of Bengal earlier this week and has become the most intense cyclone in this region since Cyclone Sidr in 2007. At the time of writing it has 1-minute average sustained winds of near 155 mph.
Phailin, which is a Thai word for ‘sapphire’, is expected to make landfall over the Odisha state of India on Saturday night and bring destruction from its strong winds, heavy rain and storm surge.
It is likely to be the strongest cyclone to hit India since the devastating ‘Odisha Cyclone’ of 1999, and it is possible it could be even stronger.
Meanwhile Typhoon Nari is continuing a busy spell for tropical storms in the last few weeks in the west Pacific Ocean.
With winds near 100 mph, Nari is making landfall over the northern Philippines today before moving into the South China Sea where it could continue towards a second landfall in China or Vietnam.
Behind Nari, another storm is developing called Wipha. This is set to strengthen into a typhoon and move northwards in the direction of Japan.
Landfall over Japan is possible, but at this stage a glancing blow to southern coastal regions of the country in the middle of next week is the most likely outcome.
Official warnings of west Pacific tropical storms are produced by the Japanese Meteological Agency (JMA). Official forecasts of Indian Ocean tropical storms are provided by the Indian Meteorological Department.