According to the National Centre for Hydrology and Meteorology (NCHM) Bhutan will most likely not feel the direct impact of cyclone Fani, but it will feel its peripheral impact.
This will mean heavier than normal rains from 4th May onwards going on to 6th May by when the effects should dissipate.
Bhutan is expected to have the peripheral effect of the cyclone due to the large size of the cyclonic system.
Cyclonic Storm Fani formed over the south Bay of Bengal around 27th April 2019 and is moving north-northwest direction towards Andhra Pradesh, India over the Bay of Bengal.
NCHM official Teyba Buddha Tamang said, “Initially starting with low pressure and depression, the cyclonic storm known as Fani developed around 27th April over the South Bay of Bengal but in the last few days it has intensified into a severe cyclonic storm. Depending on the intensity of the cyclone, there are generally four categories of cyclone such as Cyclonic Storm, Severe Cyclonic Storm, Very Severe Cyclonic Storm and Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm”.
He said, “The system is expected to further intensify into Very Severe Cyclonic Storm and then into Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm during the next 48 hours. As per cyclone forecast track the system is expected to move north-westward till 1st May and thereafter recurve north-northeast wards towards Odisha Coast. The system will start reducing intensity after landfall. According to the latest update from Indian Meteorology Department, the cyclone will have landfall around Odisha or Northeast India.”
The worry will be if the cyclone makes a stronger turn towards north-east India, which will mean a stronger peripheral impact on Bhutan.
“The cyclone intensifies when it is located on oceans because there is more moisture in ocean as moisture is the main fuel for cyclonic storm. Once it reaches the land, the intensity of the cyclone will gradually reduce”, he said.
“As it is associated with very strong wind, these coastal areas like Odisha, Calcutta, Andhra Pradesh and Bangladesh will experience very strong windstorm, rainfall including storm surge which is the direct impact of cyclonic storm. Bhutan will have only peripheral impact and normally cyclone does not have direct impact on us,” he added.
On the 29th April 2019, most of the stations all over the country reported rainfall. Heavy rainfall was received mainly over the eastern parts of Bhutan. Deothang met station received the heaviest rainfall of 267 mm followed by Mongar with 37.4 mm and Lhuentse 35.2 mm (daily accumulation). There are reports of small flash floods in Lhuentse. This event, however, is not due to the cyclone Fani. This was a convective rainfall which typically occurs for a short duration and over isolated places. This is normal during the transition period from winter to summer.
The NCHM clarified that the normal seasonal rainfall should not be confused with the cyclone. Bhutan is further expected to receive seasonal rainfall due to convective activities at isolated places of the country. Partly to mostly cloudy weather is likely. Heavy rain is very likely over the isolated places of southern and eastern parts of the country while the rest of the country is likely to receive light rain at isolated places.