Cyclone Nivar

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Mar 16, 2022, 13:55

Cyclone Nivar was a severe cyclonic storm that occurred in November 2020, impacting the states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. The hazardous landfall caused substantial damage to human lives, fields, and crops while also leaving several areas in the vicinity inundated.

Let's understand some of the must-know facts about Cyclone Nivar and its consequences.

What is a Cyclone?

A cyclone is an intense vortex in the atmosphere, with powerful winds circulating around it in an anti-clockwise direction in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. Cyclones form intense low-pressure areas at the centre, increasing outwards. Depending upon the pressure drop in the centre and the rate at which it increases outwards, the strength of the winds and the intensity of the cyclones are determined. A full-grown cyclone in the atmosphere has a diameter of 150 to 1000 km and is 10 to 15 km in height.

Historically, the Indian seas are known to be the deadliest basin for the genesis of several cyclones. In the past, cyclones have resulted in more than 1 lakh causalities.

Early Warnings of Cyclone Nivar

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) is the primary government agency that provides weather forecasts related to cyclones in India. A tropical cyclone cannot be tamed, but early warnings can minimize its adverse effects. As such, issuing a cyclone warning is one of the most important functions of the IMD.

The IMD monitored the Indian Ocean since November 5, 2020, with satellite observations. Based on a summary provided by the IMD, the origin of cyclone Nivar was predicted 12 days in advance by the IMD, and the first warning bulletin was issued on November 20, 2020, indicating a low-pressure formation on November 23, 2020.

Intensity of Cyclone Nivar

Cyclone Nivar was recorded with a gale wind speed of 115-125 kmph gusting to 140 kmph over the southwest Bay of Bengal. As per the warning issued by the Regional Meteorological Department in Chennai, Cyclone Nivar was expected to make landfall with a wind speed of 120-130 kmph gusting to 145 kmph.

Extremely heavy rainfall was witnessed in Mayiladuthurai, Ariyalur, Perambalur, Cuddalore, and Villupuram. Kallakurichi, Tiruvannamalai districts, and Puducherry received heavy to very heavy rainfall.

Inland flooding and extensive damages were recorded in Tamil Nadu, Rayalaseema, and south coastal Andhra Pradesh. In addition, fishing activities, flight, and metro services were suspended in Chennai, and citizens were evacuated from the low-lying areas.

In closing, we would like to share an interesting fact about the names of the cyclones in India. In the 27th session of the WMO/ESCAP Panel on Tropical Cyclones held in 2000 in Muscat, it was agreed to assign names to the tropical cyclones in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea. The names are chosen from a list of tropical cyclone names decided by WMO/ESCAP panel member countries.

Even the public can suggest a name to be included in the list. However, it needs to meet some fundamental criteria. For details, you can check the website of the India Meteorological Department.

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FAQs on Cyclone Nivar

Q.1. What is the logic behind the name Cyclone Nivar?

Nivar is the third name chosen from the new name list for North Indian Ocean Cyclones, released in 2020. It was suggested by Iran and means light'; in Persian.

Q.2. What are ACWCs, and how many are there in India?

Area Cyclone Warning Centers or ACWCs are part of the cyclone warning organization of the IMD. ACWCs are located in Chennai, Mumbai, and Kolkata.

Q.3. What is the full form of CWCs?

Cyclone Warning Centers or CWCs are located at Visakhapatnam, Ahmedabad, and Bhubaneswar. CWCs are responsible for catering to the needs of the maritime states.

Q.4. Which other deadliest cyclones occurred in India?

Cyclone Tauktae 2021, Cyclone Amphan 2020, Cyclone Fani 2019, Cyclone Nilam 2012, Cyclone Bhola 1970, among others, occurred in India.