Natural Disaster

Acing the forecast

Print edition : November 15, 2013

This October 12, 2013 satellite image obtained from the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) shows Tropical Cyclone Phailin over the Bay of Bengal. India evacuated half a million people as massive Cyclone Phailin closed in on the impoverished east coast Saturday, with winds already uprooting trees and tearing into flimsy homes. The storm packed gusts of up to 240 kilometres per hour (150 miles per hour) as it churned over the Bay of Bengal, making it potentially the most powerful cyclone to hit the area since 1999, when more than 8,000 died, the Indian weather office said.AFP PHOTO/NRL = RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / NRL " - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS= Photo: AFP

Infrared satellite images of Phailin from Kalpana on October 12, before landfall at 0430 hours.

Infrared satellite images of Phailin from Kalpana on October 12, before landfall at 1730 hours.

Table 1: Classification of cyclonic storm.

2(a): The Doppler Weather Radar network: operational, under installation and proposed.

2(b): A Doppler Radar image of Phailin from Visakhapatnam on October 12.

3(a): Observed track and the track forecast on October 9.

3(b): Observed track and multi-model ensemble prediction on October 9.

The India Meteorological Department, with improved models and observation systems and greater forecast skills, predicts accurately not only the intensity of cyclone Phailin but also its landfall.

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