Sub: Very Severe Cyclonic Storm “TITLI” over Bay of Bengal (07-13 Oct. 2018) and Very Severe Cyclonic Storm “LUBAN” over Arabian Sea (06-14 October 2018)
In a rarest of rare occurrence, two very severe cyclonic storms (VSCS), one each in Bay of Bengal (7-13 Oct.) and Arabian Sea (06-14 Oct.) developed simultaneously during October 2018. The VSCS, Titli crossed north Andhra Pradesh and South Odisha coast near Palasa (18.80N/84.40E) to the southwest of Gopalpur during 0430-0530 IST of 11th as a VSCS with the wind speed of 140-150 gusting to 165 kmph, The VSCS, Luban crossed Yemen and adjoining Oman coast to the south of Al-Ghaida during 1100-1130 IST of 14th October as a cyclonic storm with a wind speed of 70-80 kmph gusting to 90 kmph.
The best tracks of these two cyclones are shown in Fig.1. Both the cyclones had unique track characteristics with northeastward recurvature over the land in case of Titli and multiple recurvature in case of Luban. While there was rapid intensification in case of Titli, there was intensification and weakening of Luban over the Sea. The VSCS Titli caused extensive damage over Odisha and adjoining north Andhra Pradesh districts due to strong wind and flood caused by extremely heavy rainfall. Also the storm surge of about one meter height above the astronomical tide inundated the low lying areas near the landfall point. Loss of human lives has been significantly less due to cyclone, Titli compared to similar cyclones in the past, though wind speed at the time of landfall was significantly higher (140-150 gusting to 165 kmph).
India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicted the formation of a low pressure area over Bay of Bengal and its intensification into a storm crossing Odisha and adjoining north Andhra Pradesh coasts by 8th October itself (3 days before). The landfall over Odisha and adjoining north Andhra Pradesh coasts during the early morning hours of 11th was predicted almost 48 hours in advance. IMD also predicted very heavy rainfall over coastal and south interior Odisha 3 days in advance. The landfall point forecast error was about 27 and 42 km for 48 and 60 hrs lead period respectively.
Regarding the storm, Luban, IMD predicted its formation and its movement towards south Oman and Yemen coasts on 6th October, i.e., almost 7 days in advance. India Meteorological Department (IMD) acts as WMO designated Regional Specialised Meteorological Centres (RSMC) -Tropical Cyclones to provide Tropical Cyclone Advisories to WMO/ESCAP Panel Member countries including Bangladesh, India,
Myanmar, Maldives, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Yemen, Oman, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar and Iran.
RSMC New Delhi provided six hourly advisories during depression stage and three hourly advisories from cyclonic storm stage about the cyclone’s current location & intensity, forecast track & intensity, associated adverse weather like squally winds, storm surge, state of sea, heavy rainfall up to 120 hours to Oman, Yemen, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar and Iran and WMO.
Thus, IMD provided accurate and early warnings of cyclonic storms Titli and Luban to the concerned officials and public, which helped to reduce the damages and save precious lives.