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Why does the Bay of Bengal get more cyclones and storms as compared to the Arabian Sea?

We all are aware of the fact that during pre-monsoon and post-monsoon season, more cyclones are formed in the Bay of Bengal as compared to the Arabian Sea. But, are you curious to know the real cause? Well, both Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal go through cyclonic events, due to the proximity to the Indian Ocean, where cyclones are usually a common phenomenon. However, when you compare both, the Bay of Bengal experiences five times more cyclones than the Arabian Sea. Did you know? 58 percent of cyclones formed in the Bay of Bengal reach the coast as compared to only 25 percent of those formed in the Western counterpart.

 To understand the process and factors that lead up to the formation of more cyclones in Bay of Bengal you need to go through the below points:

  • The temperature of the Sea Surface:

The temperature around the sea surface is around 25-27 degree Celsius. The temperature helps to sustain the moisture and also offer enough force to the cyclone, provided all the other condition such as land-terrain, wind-directions meet. The Bay of Bengal experiences relatively warmer sea surface temperatures than the Arabian Sea and a Warmer east coast attracts more cyclones. Hence, the Bay of Bengal experiences more cyclones.

  • Wind shear:

Wind shear refers to the change in wind’s speed. The two types of wind shear are Horizontal and Vertical. The winds are driven by this low-pressure core and by the rotation of the Earth, which deflects the path of the wind through a phenomenon known as the Coriolis force. The Arabian sea has relatively stronger wind shear than the Bay of Bengal because of the mountains present. These strong winds force a much vigorous oceanic circulation and the heat received is passed on towards the southward direction and into the deeper ocean. On the other hand, the Bay of Bengal has relatively lower vertical wind shear and it is unable to remove the heat received at the surface. Hence, it is prone more to cyclones.

All the above factors provide detailed information on how the Bay of Bengal is more sensitive to cyclones as compared to the Arabian Sea despite of the geographical similarities. In fact, recently on 3rd May 2019, Cylone Fani caused a severe cyclonic

storm at Odisha’s coastal city, Puri. According to a report 21 of the 29 deaths were registered in the town of Puri, where the storm destroyed fragile houses, trees, mobile towers and electric poles. An extensive devastation was observed around the coastal state of Odhisha.

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