Cyclone Phailin hits eastern India

The Japan Meteorological Agency has detected a tropical depression on 4th October 2013. It has developed in the Gulf of Thailand, about 400 km (250 mi) west of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. Over the next few days the system moved westward within an area of low to moderate vertical wind shear. As it passed over the Malay Peninsula, it moved out of the Western Pacific Basin on October 6. The system then subsequently emerged into the Andaman Sea during the next day, before the India Meteorological Department (IMD) started to monitor the system as Depression BOB 04 early on October 8. During that day the system moved towards the west-northwest into an environment for more development. The IMD reported that the system had become a deep depression early on October 9 as it intensified and consolidated further. The United States Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) subsequently initiated advisories on the depression and designated it as Tropical Cyclone 02B, before the system slightly weakened, as it passed near to Mayabunder in the Andaman Islands and moved into the Bay of Bengal. After moving into the Bay of Bengal, the system quickly reorganized as it moved along the southern edge of a subtropical ridge of high pressure. The IMD reported that the system had intensified into a cyclonic storm and named it Phailin.
After it was named, Phailin rapidly intensified further, and became equivalent to a category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale (SSHWS) early on October 10. After bands of atmospheric convection had wrapped into the systems low level circulation center and formed an eye feature. Later that day the IMD reported that the system had become a very severe cyclonic storm, before the JTWC reported that Phailin had become equivalent to a category 4 hurricane on the SSHWS, after it had rapidly intensified throughout that day. Early the next day the system underwent an eye-wall replacement cycle and formed a new eye-wall which subsequently consolidated. After the new eye-wall had consolidated the system slightly intensified further, with the JTWC reporting that the system had reached its peak intensity, with 1-minute sustained wind speeds of 260 km/h (160 mph) which made it equivalent to a category 5 hurricane on the SSHWS. Early on October 12, the system started to weaken as it underwent a second eye-wall replacement cycle, before Phailin’s eye started rapidly to deteriorate as it moved towards the Indian coast. The system subsequently made landfall later that day near Gopalpur in Odisha, between 20:30 – 21:30 IST (15:00 – 16:00 UTC) as a very severe cyclonic storm. After the system made landfall, the JTWC issued their final advisory on Phailin, before during the next day the IMD reported that the system had weakened into a cyclonic storm.

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