Cyclone Biparjoy, currently on a path towards the northern Gujarat coast, is a tropical cyclone with the potential to cause significant impact. To better comprehend this powerful weather phenomenon, let’s delve into the two primary categories of cyclones: extratropical cyclones and tropical cyclones.
Extratropical Cyclones: Extratropical cyclones, also known as mid-latitude cyclones, occur outside the tropical regions. These cyclones have a core of cold air and derive their energy from the interaction between warm and cold air masses. They are typically accompanied by multiple fronts, which serve as boundaries between different air masses. Extratropical cyclones can form over land or ocean areas, and they are prevalent in regions far from the equator.
Tropical Cyclones: Tropical cyclones are the most devastating storms on Earth, originating in the tropical regions between the Tropics of Capricorn and Cancer. Unlike extratropical cyclones, tropical cyclones do not exhibit warm fronts or cold fronts. They develop when thunderstorm activity intensifies near the center of circulation, resulting in the concentration of the strongest winds and rainfall around the core.
The primary source of energy for tropical cyclones is the release of latent heat when water vapor, evaporated from warm ocean waters, condenses into liquid water. These cyclones do not follow the typical frontal structure associated with extratropical cyclones.
Depending on their location and strength, tropical cyclones are given various names. In the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, the North Atlantic Ocean, and the eastern and central North Pacific Ocean, they are referred to as hurricanes. In the western North Pacific, they are known as typhoons.
In the case of Cyclone Biparjoy, which originated in the Arabian Sea, it falls under the category of a tropical cyclone due to its formation within the tropical region. As it approaches the northern Gujarat coast, it is anticipated to bring strong winds, with speeds reaching 125-135 kmph and gusts up to 150 kmph. The Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre (RSMC) has issued warnings about possible storm surges, destruction of houses, infrastructure damage, flooding, and significant harm to crops and plantations in the coastal districts of Gujarat.
Cyclone Biparjoy serves as a reminder of the immense power and destructive potential of tropical cyclones. It highlights the importance of accurate forecasting and preparedness measures to mitigate the impact of such natural disasters and ensure the safety of affected regions.