Indian scientists’ novel technique to help detect tropical system earlier than satellites

Chennai: Indian scientists have found a promising technique which can help detect tropical cyclones prior to the satellites.

The technique is for early detection of development or strengthening of tropical cyclones in the atmosphere for the Bay of Bengal basin, at least four days before satellite detects them over ocean surface in North Indian Ocean region.

So far, remote sensing techniques have detected them the earliest. However, this detection was possible only after the system developed as a well-marked low-pressure system over the warm ocean surface.

The study was conducted with cases of four post-monsoon severe cyclones—Phailin (2013), Vardah (2013), Gaja (2018), Madi (2013), and two pre-monsoon cyclones Mora (2017) and Aila (2009) that developed over northern Indian Ocean region.

A team of scientists including Jiya Albert, Bishnupriya Sahoo, and Prasad K Bhaskaran from Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur, West Bengal, with support from the Indian government’s Department of Science and Technology, has devised a ‘novel’ method using ‘Eddy’ detection technique to investigate the formative stages and advance detection time of tropical cyclogenesis in the North Indian Ocean where cyclones in the Bay of Bengal are born, says a research study published in the journal ‘Atmospheric Research’ recently.

The technique was found to have potential for early detection of tropical cyclogenesis in the atmospheric column prior to satellite detection over ocean surface,” the study said and added that it would allow a bigger time gap between the detection and the impact of the cyclone that could help preparation for facing it.

Prior to the formation of cyclonic system over the warm oceanic environment, the initial atmospheric instability mechanism, as well as the vortex development, is triggered at higher atmospheric levels, adds the study.

The method developed by the scientists aims to identify initial traces of pre-cyclonic eddy vortices in the atmospheric column and track its Spatio-temporal evolution. They used a coarser grid resolution of 27 km for identification and a finer resolution of 9 km to evaluate the characteristics of eddy vortices.


NT Bureau