• M Mohapatra

      Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science

    • Some characteristics of very heavy rainfall over Orissa during summer monsoon season

      M Mohapatra U C Mohanty

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      Orissa is one of the most flood prone states of India. The floods in Orissa mostly occur during monsoon season due to very heavy rainfall caused by synoptic scale monsoon disturbances. Hence a study is undertaken to find out the characteristic features of very heavy rainfall (24 hours rainfall ≥125 mm) over Orissa during summer monsoon season (June–September) by analysing 20 years (1980–1999) daily rainfall data of different stations in Orissa. The principal objective of this study is to find out the role of synoptic scale monsoon disturbances in spatial and temporal variability of very heavy rainfall over Orissa.

      Most of the very heavy rainfall events occur in July and August. The region, extending from central part of coastal Orissa in the southeast towards Sambalpur district in the northwest, experiences higher frequency and higher intensity of very heavy rainfall with less interannual variability. It is due to the fact that most of the causative synoptic disturbances like low pressure systems (LPS) develop over northwest (NW) Bay of Bengal with minimum interannual variation and the monsoon trough extends in west-northwesterly direction from the centre of the system. The very heavy rainfall occurs more frequently with less interannual variability on the western side of Eastern Ghat during all the months and the season except September. It occurs more frequently with less interannual variability on the eastern side of Eastern Ghat during September. The NW Bay followed by Gangetic West Bengal/Orissa is the most favourable region of LPS to cause very heavy rainfall over different parts of Orissa except eastern side of Eastern Ghat. The NW Bay and west central (WC) Bay are equally favourable regions of LPS to cause very heavy rainfall over eastern side of Eastern Ghat. The frequency of very heavy rainfall does not show any significant trend in recent years over Orissa except some places in north-east Orissa which exhibit significant rising trend in all the monsoon months and the season as a whole.

    • Evaluation of official tropical cyclone track forecast over north Indian Ocean issued by India Meteorological Department

      M Mohapatra D P Nayak R P Sharma B K Bandyopadhyay

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      India Meteorological Department (IMD) introduced the objective tropical cyclone (TC) track forecast valid for next 24 hr over the north Indian Ocean (NIO) in 2003. It further extended the validity period up to 72 hr in 2009. Here an attempt is made to evaluate the TC track forecast issued by IMD during 2003–2011 (9 years) by calculating the direct position error (DPE) and skill in track forecast. The accuracy of TC track forecast has been analysed with respect to basin of formation (Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea and NIO as whole), season of formation (pre-monsoon and post-monsoon seasons), intensity of TCs (cyclonic storm and severe cyclonic storm or higher intensities) and type of track of TCs (climatological/straight moving and recurving/looping type). The average DPE is about 140, 262 and 386 km and skill is about 27%, 39% and 50%, respectively for 24, 48 and 72 hr forecasts over the NIO as a whole during 2009–2011. Though the DPE is higher and skill is less as compared to those in northwest Pacific and north Atlantic Ocean, the rate of decrease (increase) in DPE (skill) is higher over the NIO in recent years. The DPE (skill) over the NIO has decreased (increased) at the rate of about 7.3 km (3%) per year during 2003–2011 for 24 hr forecasts.

    • Cyclone hazard proneness of districts of India

      M Mohapatra

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      Hazards associated with tropical cyclones (TCs) are long-duration rotatory high velocity winds, very heavy rain, and storm tide. India has a coastline of about 7516 km of which 5400 km is along the mainland. The entire coast is affected by cyclones with varying frequency and intensity. Thus classification of TC hazard proneness of the coastal districts is very essential for planning and preparedness aspects of management of TCs. So, an attempt has been made to classify TC hazard proneness of districts by adopting a hazard criteria based on frequency and intensity of cyclone, wind strength, probable maximum precipitation, and probable maximum storm surge. Ninety-six districts including 72 districts touching the coast and 24 districts not touching the coast, but lying within 100 km from the coast have been classified based on their proneness. Out of 96 districts, 12 are very highly prone, 41 are highly prone, 30 are moderately prone, and the remaining 13 districts are less prone. This classification of coastal districts based on hazard may be considered for all the required purposes including coastal zone management and planning. However, the vulnerability of the place has not been taken into consideration. Therefore, composite cyclone risk of a district, which is the product of hazard and vulnerability, needs to be assessed separately through a detailed study.

    • Evaluation of official tropical cyclone landfall forecast issued by India Meteorological Department

      M Mohapatra D P Nayak Monica Sharma R P Sharma B K Bandyopadhyay

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      India Meteorological Department (IMD) introduced the objective tropical cyclone (TC) track forecast valid for next 24 hrs over the North Indian Ocean (NIO) in 2003. It further extended the validity period up to 72 hrs in 2009. Here an attempt is made to evaluate the TC landfall forecast issued by IMD during 2003–2013 (11 years) by calculating the landfall point forecast error (LPE) and landfall time forecast error (LTE).

      The average LPE is about 67, 95, and 124 km and LTE is about 4, 7, and 2 hrs, respectively for 24, 48, and 72-hr forecasts over the NIO as a whole during 2009–2013. The accuracy of TC landfall forecast has been analysed with respect to basin of formation (Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea, and NIO as a whole), specific regions of landfall, season of formation (pre-monsoon and post-monsoon seasons), intensity of TCs (cyclonic storm (CS), and severe cyclonic storm (SCS) or higher intensities) at the time of initiation of forecast and type of track of TCs (climatological/straight moving and recurving/looping type). The LPE is less over the BOB than over the AS for all forecast lengths up to 72 hrs. Similarly, the LPE is less during the post-monsoon season than during pre-monsoon season. The LPEs are less for climatologically moving/straight moving TCs than for the recurving/looping TCs.

      The LPE over the NIO has decreased at the rate of about 14.5 km/year during 2003–2013 for 24-hr forecasts. The LTE does not show any significant improvement for 24-hr forecast during the same period. There is significant decrease in LPE and LTE during 2009–2013 compared to 2003–2008 due to the modernisation programme of IMD. The 24-hr LPE and LTE have decreased from 157.5 to 66.5 km and 7.8 to 4.1 hrs, respectively. However, there is still scope for further reduction in 48 and 72-hr forecast errors over the NIO to about 50 and 100 km respectively based on the latest technology including aircraft reconnaissance, deployment of buoys, and assimilation of more observational data from satellite and Doppler weather radars, etc., in the numerical weather prediction (NWP) models during the next five years.

    • Characteristics of surface wind structure of tropical cyclones over the north Indian Ocean

      M Mohapatra Monica Sharma

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      Tropical cyclone (TC) wind field monitoring and forecast are important for mariners, ships on sea and modelling group for creation of synthetic vortex, and storm surge and coastal inundation forecasting. Among others, a multi-platform satellite surface wind analysis developed by Co-operative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA), USA for the TCs are referred by India Meteorological Department for surface wind field monitoring of TC. Hence, a study has been undertaken to analyze the characteristics of surface wind distribution and hence the structure of TC based on the real time data available from CIRA during 2007–2013. The study includes 19 TCs over the Bay of Bengal (BOB) and six over Arabian Sea (AS). The maximum radial extent of winds reaching threshold values of 34(17), 50(26) and 64(33) knot (ms−1) in each of the four geographical quadrants has been segregated with respect to season of formation, basin of formation and intensity of TC for analysis. The objective is to develop a reference surface wind structure of TC and examine its validity with respect to physical processes.

      The size of outer core (34(17) knot (ms−1) wind radial extension) as well as inner core (50(26) and 64(33) knot (ms−1) wind radial extension) increases significantly with increase in intensification of TC over BOB during both pre-monsoon and post-monsoon seasons and over AS during pre-monsoon season. The outer core of winds in TCs over the BOB is asymmetric in both pre-monsoon and post-monsoon seasons and for all categories of intensity of TCs. On the other hand, the asymmetry in inner core winds is significantly less. There is also no asymmetry in radial wind extension over the AS during both the seasons, except in case of outer core wind radial extension of VSCS during pre-monsoon season. The low level environment like enhanced cross equatorial flow, lower/middle level relative humidity, vertical wind shear and proximity of TC to the land surface are the determining factors for the size and asymmetry of TCs over the NIO.

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