Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Typhoon: "Amphan Pushing Wind, Rain, and Potentially Fierce Surge into Eastern India and Bangladesh"

From Weather Underground, May 19, 2020, 10:26 PM EDT:
Outer rainbands of Tropical Cyclone Amphan were lashing the east coast of India on Wednesday morning IST as the sprawling storm headed for a Wednesday-evening landfall just south of Kolkata. At 00Z Wednesday (8:30 am IST), the Joint Typhoon Warning Center rated Amphan’s top (1-minute) sustained winds at 95 knots, making it a high-end Category 2.
Amphan was centered about 240 miles south-southwest of Kolkata or about 180 miles south-southwest of the West Bengal coast, moving north-northeast at about 10 mph.

Even on the weaker west side of Amphan, the Indian state of Odisha was feeling the storm’s power. Winds gusted to 66 mph at Paradeep around 01Z (6:30 am IST), with a 24-hour rainfall total of 208 mm (8.19”) through 02Z, according to IMD.

With much of the western side of Amphan’s circulation inland across Odisha, and with wind shear on the increase, Amphan’s top winds were predicted weaken a bit more by landfall. However, Amphan continues to pose a major storm-surge threat to coastal areas of India’s West Bengal province and western Bangladesh. Amphan has been pushing immense amounts of water toward the northern end of the shallow Bay of Bengal since its rapid intensification into a large Category 5 cyclone on Sunday into Monday local time. There is a great deal of momentum in the surge pushed by large, powerful storms like Amphan as their peak winds weaken but their overall wind fields expand, as evidenced by 2008's Hurricane Ike in Texas and 2012's Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey and New York.