While most of the action has been in the Pacific Ocean this year, a tropical cyclone has formed in the Bay of Bengal, becoming only the third tropical system of the year to do so.
Neither of the previous tropical systems strengthened beyond tropical depression status.
Tropical Cyclone Hudhud, formally known as Cyclone 3B, is the first organized tropical system in the Bay of Bengal since the middle of May. This is also only the second named cyclone of the northern Indian Ocean season.
Hudhud, currently at the equivalent of a Category 1 hurricane with winds sustained at 120 kph (75 mph), will likely become stronger prior to making landfall in eastern India this weekend.
AccuWeather.com meteorologists believe that this developing cyclone will track west-northwest across the Bay of Bengal in an environment that will allow the storm to strengthen into the strongest cyclone of the year in the northern Indian Ocean.
Areas from Kakinada in northern Andhra Pradesh northward to Ratanpur in Odisha should closely monitor this potential cyclone for possible impacts into this weekend. Flooding rain and damaging winds will be possible.
Any damaging winds will likely be limited to areas within 160 kilometers (100 miles) of where Hudhud makes landfall. At this time, landfall is expected to be near Vishkahapatnam, late Saturday night or early Sunday morning.
Wind gusts over 120 kph (75 mph) will be possible in these areas which can cause widespread power outages, downed trees and some structural damage.
Rainfall amounts in excess of 150 millimeters (about 6 inches) are possible near where Hudhud is expected to make landfall, including the city of Vishkahapatnam as well.
Once making landfall, the system is expected to weaken again quickly as it is cut off from the warm water source of the Bay of Bengal. The cyclone will continue to bring heavy rain to interior portions of India even while transitioning into a tropical rainstorm.
“Areas in central India, near Nagpur, will see the smaller rain amounts as beneficial,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Jason Nicholls said. “This region is one area that has seen less monsoonal moisture than usual this season.”
The core of the heaviest rain into the middle of the new week, however will likely sweep to the northeast towards the India-Nepal border. This same area saw catastrophic flooding less than a month ago, with mudslides.