Muscat: Scientists have found out why there are more cyclones forming in the Arabian Sea during the summer months.
This is due to a newly-discovered phenomenon El Nino Modoki — which causes warm, moist conditions in the central Pacific Ocean and dry cold conditions in the eastern and western Pacific. A more familiar phenomenon, El Nino, was found to suppress cyclone formation in the Arabian Sea.
The findings are the results of a study undertaken by a team led by Dr M. R. Ramesh Kumar, senior scientist, National Institute of Oceanography, Goa, India. The study has been published in the latest issue of Natural Hazards journal.
It may be recalled that the Sultanate of Oman has been experiencing adverse weather conditions for the last few years.
Speaking to Times of Oman, the principal investigator of the project, M. R. Ramesh Kumar, said that more cyclones are forming over the coast of Oman, as it may be conducive for the development of cyclones. "This could be the reason for the formation of cyclonic storms," he said from Goa.
Kumar also said there is a large convergence over the Arabian Sea during an El Nino Modoki, explaining the large number of cyclones in that region. "A statistical analysis of the El Nino and El Nino Modoki was conducted during this research," he said.
According to the study, a copy of which is available with Times of Oman, tropical cyclones are the most hazardous weather systems to form over the Arabian Sea during the summer months.
"The frequencies of tropical cyclones increase and decrease over all oceanic basins during the phenomenon El Nino and El Nino Modoki over the years. "Recent studies have shown a significant impact of air-sea interaction processes like El Nino and El Nino Modoki on cyclone activity over different ocean basins. And most of the times, El Nino events suppress the formation of cyclones over various basins," the report said.
According to the report, the north Indian Ocean (NIO) accounts for seven per cent of global tropical cyclones; furthermore, a greater number of cyclones, being about four times higher, form in the Bay of Bengal than in the Arabian Sea.
On average, five to six tropical cyclones form over this basin every year during two cyclone seasons, such as pre-monsoon season from March to May, and post-monsoon season in October to December. "Studies show that there is an increasing trend in the frequency of intense tropical cyclones over the north Indian Ocean," the report added.