Mumbai braces for Cyclone Nisarga, first in its history

The Indian city of Mumbai could be in for a weather phenomenon that has never occurred in its documented history.

A cyclone developing over the Arabian Sea—the second to be forming near India in a fortnight —is expected to make landfall just 110km north of Mumbai on Wednesday evening. It is likely to trigger flash floods all along the state’s coast, including in the metropolitan region, reports The Times of India.

The India Meteorological Department on Monday scaled up its weather warning for Mumbai. It has issued a red alert for Mumbai, Thane, Palghar and Raigad for Wednesday. There is a red alert for Palghar alone on Thursday, as the cyclone is expected to make landfall there.

Winds due to the cyclone could reach 115kmph, with gales of up to 125kmph.

Sea conditions will be very rough and high to very high over east central Arabian Sea in this duration. Fishermen have been advised not to go into the sea.

The reason for Mumbai’s low risk from cyclones lies in the weather dynamics of the Arabian Sea.

On average, the sea sees one or two cyclonic formations every year and when they do form, they tend to go west towards Oman and the Gulf of Aden, or head north towards Gujarat, as with the 1998 cyclone that killed thousands, or last year’s Cyclone Vayu.