Cyclones and Its Types in India
The earth and the atmosphere around it have an intense connection with one another. The weather depends on the balance of heat and moisture in the area. When this balance is disturbed, climatic anomalies develop. One such natural anomaly, that is common in both northern and southern hemispheres, especially during the summer months are cyclones. It is an intense storm that has the power to rip apart everything that is placed in its path.
In normal storm formations, the wind blows from one direction to another. In case of a cyclone, the wind swirls up. This continuous spinning movement of the air makes the cyclones more devastating. The winds travel up, and when they reach the cool areas of the upper atmosphere, they develop into clouds. Thus, cyclones are always accompanied by torrential rains and thunderstorms. When charged storm clouds pass one another, they create intense electrical charges, which are fatal and destructive.
Types of cyclones
The word ‘cyclone’ is a common term that is used to define several kinds of storms. Some of these storms may develop on a landmass, while others are created over oceans. Depending on the nature of the storm and the origin, cyclones can be broadly categorized in three groups.
- Tropical cyclones – As the name suggests, these storm formation take place in the tropical areas. These happen every year during the summer months. These are also called Hurricanes. These only form in the northern hemisphere, and develop between 10 degree North and 25 degree North latitudes.
For this storm to develop, the surface temperature of the sea and the ocean must be either 28 degrees Celsius or more. This temperature causes the air over the ocean surface to travel upwards. As this happens, cold air from the land takes up the vacant place, thereby causing high-intensity tropical depression. It is near this depression that a thunder storm develops. As the temperature of the area soars up, the wind develops a twirling motion.
As these spinning storm formation dashes towards the land mass, it paves the path for massive destruction and devastation along the coastal areas. As hurricane travels over the land, it slowly loses its power and fizzles out. If another depression develops over the ocean in the meantime, then the former storm system will attain more power. To make things worse, the people living in the coastal areas will have to face torrential rain, along with thunder and lightning.
- Polar cyclones – These storms systems are also called mid-latitude cyclones. The mid-latitude or polar cycles are common during the winter seasons. Countries like Greenland, Antarctica and Siberia face the wrath of these storms. Instead of rain, the storms bring in a blinding blanket of ice and blizzards. As these countries are not very populated, the damage percentage is also low.
- Mesocyclone – These are also known as supercell thunderstorms. These are high intensity tornadoes where you will see an updraft of wind. As the storm gains momentum, it forms a cloud wall. This wall of charged clouds gradually descends. The residents of USA face around 1,700 such storm formations on a yearly basis.
How does a tropical cyclone develop?
The best way to develop a tropical cyclone is to circular storm that is dense and compact. The average diameter of the storm formation is 320 kilometers. It has a low-pressure core. It gains momentum from the rotational movement of the Earth. The path of wind movement is generally counterclockwise in Northern hemisphere. The storm has a circular outer area. It is in the shape of ring. It is the outer most part of the cyclone. The radius of this outer ring is 160 kilometers. The next ring has a radius of around 30 to 50 kilometers. The wind speed in this area is faster and the spinning motion is also brisk.
The innermost area of the cyclone is known as the eye of the cyclone. It is the most devastating part of the cyclone and the wind speed is highest in this part. But after the eye passes over a certain area, people in that area will experience a temporary calmness. But it will be short-lived as the other part of the eye will soon pass over the same area. Then the second ring and finally the outer most rings will pass over the area. Scientists are conducting researches to figure out the pattern of the storm movement. But it seems impossible to figure out the whims of nature.
The crucial relation between the updraft and the downdraft will create the perfect conditions for the development of a cyclone. The light and warm moisture containing air moves up, and it sets the updraft in motion. It is the first step that will set in the next set of events, which will ultimately form an intense cyclone. The disparity in the temperature between the land breeze and sea breeze sets the system in motion. As the warm air goes up from over the sea, the heavy land breeze flows in swiftly. These two actions create a tropical depression. Here, the winds tend to pick up force and move in circular motion. Then the entire cyclone travels towards the nearest landmass. Each year, such tropical cyclones form over the Bay of Bengal. The coastal areas of Odisha, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh suffer due to these powerful winds.
Precautions to be taken before and during the cyclone
Man has no power over nature. If a cyclonic formation has developed, it will run it will course. There is nothing one can do to stop it. Damage to property and life can be minimized if one observers certain precautions before and during the cyclone.
Prior to the cyclone:
- It is important for the people to remain calm. Spreading rumors will only make the situation worse.
- It is best to keep all communication gadgets on full charge. If there is outage of power, you will not have to worry about a dying phone.
- Calling may not help as the communication towers will cease to function. Thus, it is best to send SMS rather than making calls.
- Tune in news channels to keep a tab on what the weather office announces.
- It is best to keep all necessary documents in a plastic container. It ensures that they will not be damaged by water. Keep these documents within easy reach.
- Stock up general medicines and ready the emergency first aid kit.
- Make sure that your pets and cattle are sheltered properly.
During the cyclone:
- Make sure that the main power switch and the gas connection has been turned off.
- All windows and doors of the house must be securely shut.
- If you live in an old house that may not be able to tolerate the harsh wind blows, then it is better to evacuate in advance.
- Refrain from drinking well or tap water as the lines may be contaminated. Boiling water before consumption will ensure safety.
- Standing near damaged building, trees and power polls must be avoided at all cost.
- Do not venture near any sea or ocean. These areas suffer the most damage.
The central and the state governments take necessary steps to ensure minimum damage in case of natural calamities. A rescue and disaster management team is always ready to come to the rescue of the people, after the cyclone passes. The task of the state government is to measure the damage, and take reconstruction actions accordingly. Awareness among the people will reduce the number of casualties by leaps and bounces.
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