Scientists devise novel method for early detection of tropical cyclones

PTI, Jun 9, 2021, 4:48 PM IST

Credit: iStock photo

New Delhi: A team of scientists has devised a novel method for early detection of tropical cyclones.

The method aims to identify initial traces of pre-cyclonic eddy vortices in the atmospheric column, prior to satellite detection over ocean surface, and track its spatio-temporal evolution, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) said.

So far, remote sensing techniques have detected them the earliest. However, this detection was possible only after system developed as a well-marked low-pressure system over the warm ocean surface.

A larger time gap between the detection and the impact of the cyclone could help preparation activities. Early detection of tropical cyclones has wide socio-economic implications, the DST said.

The scientists conducted the study on four post-monsoon severe cyclones –Phailin (2013), Vardah (2013), Gaja (2018) and Madi (2013) — and two pre-monsoon cyclones — Mora (2017) and Aila (2009) — that developed over North Indian Ocean.

The research was published in the journal ‘Atmospheric Research’ recently.

The team members, including Jiya Albert, Bishnupriya Sahoo and Prasad K Bhaskaran from IIT Kharagpur, observed that the method could bring about genesis of prediction with a minimum of four days lead time for cyclones developed during the pre-and post-monsoon seasons.

Initiation mechanisms of genesis of tropical cyclones occurs at upper atmospheric levels and are also detected at higher lead time for pre-monsoon cases, unlike the post-monsoon cases.

The study made a comprehensive investigation on the behaviour of eddies in an atmospheric column for non-developing cases and compared these findings with developing cases.

The technique was found to have potential for early detection of tropical cyclogenesis in the atmospheric column prior to satellite detection over ocean surface.

The research was conducted with support from the Department of Science and Technology under the Climate Change Programme (CCP), it said.

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