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Landfall of a Cyclone Biparjoy

Context:

On June 15, the landfall process of Cyclone Biparjoy started near Jakhau port in the state’s Kutch district and continued till midnight.

Relevance:

GS I: Geography

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Landfall of a Cyclone
  2. What is the damage caused by a cyclone’s landfall?
  3. How long does a landfall last?

Landfall of a Cyclone

  • Landfall refers to the event when a tropical cyclone transitions from being over water to moving onto land.
  • According to the IMD (Indian Meteorological Department), landfall occurs when the center or eye of the cyclone crosses the coast.

The Eye of a Cyclone:

  • The eye of a cyclone is a region at the center of the storm characterized by relatively calm weather.
  • It has circular or oval shape and features light winds, clear or partly cloudy skies, and reduced precipitation.
  • The size of the eye can vary significantly, ranging from a few kilometers to over 50 kilometers (30 miles) in diameter for larger cyclones.

During Landfall:

  • Prior to landfall, the outer bands of the cyclone may have already reached the coast, bringing strong winds, heavy rain, and storm surge.
  • Landfall marks the official moment when the cyclone reaches the land.

Difference from “Direct Hit”:

  • It’s important to distinguish landfall from a “direct hit.”
  • A direct hit refers to a situation where the core of high winds, known as the eyewall, comes onshore, but the center of the storm may remain offshore.

What is the damage caused by a cyclone’s landfall?

  • The damage caused by the landfall will depend on the severity of the cyclone – marked by the speed of its winds.
  • For Cyclone Biparjoy, classified by the IMD as a “very severe cyclonic storm”, the impact may include extensive damage to kutcha houses, partial disruption of power and communication lines, minor disruption of rail and road traffic, potential threat from flying debris and flooding of escape
  • routes.
  • The factors behind this kind of damage include extremely strong winds, heavy rainfall and the storm surge which cause devastating floods in the coast.

How long does a landfall last?

  • Landfalls can last for a few hours, with their exact duration depending on the speed of the winds and the size of the storm system.
  • Cyclone Biparjoy’s land process is expected to last around five to six hours, with the cyclone almost completely dissipating over approximately the next 24 hours.
  • Cyclones lose their intensity once they move over land because of sharp reduction of moisture supply and increase in surface friction.
  • This means that while landfalls are often the most devastating moments of cyclones, they also mark the beginning of its end.

-Source: Indian Express


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