Cyclone Fani: A rare one to hit Indian shores
Cyclone Fani, one of the biggest storms in years to make landfall in India, slammed the city of Puri in Odisha with winds raging up to 200 kmph on Friday. Though, in terms of maximum windspeed, Fani is only the seventh highest among cyclones to have originated from the Northern Indian Ocean since the 2000s, very rarely do such cyclones which were formed in the month of April over the Bay of Bengal go on to make landfall in India. This makes Fani a unique case of a cyclone that originated in April.
The following image shows the path of all severe cyclones ( maximum wind speed of >47 knots) to have originated in the month of April over the Bay of Bengal between 1891 and 2017.
As can been seen from the image, only once before, April 1966 to be precise, did such a severe cyclone hit the Indian mainland.
April is an unusual month for a cyclone in India. Of the 1,528 recorded depressions/cyclonic storms/severe cyclones over the North Indian Ocean since 1891, only 45 (3%) occurred in the month of April. Thats the fifth least among all months after July, February, March and January.
Table shows depressions (maximum wind speed between 17 and 33 knots) / cyclonic storms (between 34 and 47 knots) / severe cyclones (>47 knots) occurred between 1891 and 2019 over the North Indian Ocean.
1. Depressions (those which does not get converted to bigger cyclones) are lowest at the start of a year and gradually increase and peak at August before dropping again in number terms.
2. But, cyclonic storms and severe cyclones follow a slightly different pattern. Their numbers first peak in May and then dip only to peak again in October-November.
Interestingly, the probability of a depression getting converted into a Cyclonic Storm/ Severe Cyclone is very high in April. 44% of all storms in April were Severe Cyclones, a number that is less only than the number for the month of May (48%).
Table shows the share of recorded depressions/cyclonic storms/severe cyclones in various months between 1891 and 2019