Cyclone Fani, which has been classified as an extremely severe cyclone (ESC), is the 10th such cyclone had hit India in May in past 52 years. Data from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) shows that the last time an extremely severe cyclone hit India in May was in 2004.
IMD data on cyclones that hit India between 1965 and 2017 show that the country has weathered 39 extremely severe cyclones in these 52 years. Of these, nearly 60 per cent (23) were between October and December.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) classifies cyclones on the basis of the maximum sustained surface wind speed (MSW) they generate.
Timing and strength are two factors that make Cyclone Fani, pronounced as Foni, different from most other tropical cyclones in this time of the year. Cyclone Fani started developing around April 25 and has made a landfall this morning in Odisha on the east coast.
Traversing for nearly 10 days over the sea allowed Fani to gather such strength that it is now classified as an extremely severe cyclone. Generally, tropical cyclones over the Bay of Bengal have a lifespan of four-seven days. But Cyclone Fani is different.
The WMO has also warned that low-lying districts in Odisha are very likely to be flooded because a storm surge (rising of level due to storm) of about 1.5 metre height above astronomical tide is expected when Cyclone Fani hits Odisha.