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2002 North Indian Ocean cyclone season

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2002 North Indian Ocean cyclone season
2002 North Indian Ocean cyclone season summary.jpg
Season summary map
Seasonal boundaries
First system formed May 6, 2002
Last system dissipated December 25, 2002
Strongest storm
Name BOB 04
 • Maximum winds 100 km/h (65 mph)
(1-minute sustained)
 • Lowest pressure 984 hPa (mbar)
Seasonal statistics
Deep depressions 7
Cyclonic storms 4
Severe cyclonic storms 1
Very severe cyclonic storms 0
Total fatalities At least 182
Total damage $25 million (2002 USD)
Related articles
North Indian Ocean tropical cyclone seasons
2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004

The 2002 North Indian Ocean cyclone season was a below active season in terms of tropical cyclone formation. The season had no official bounds, but most storms formed in either May or after October. No depressions or storms formed during the monsoon season from July to September, the first such instance on record. There are two main seas in the North Indian Ocean – the Bay of Bengal to the east of the Indian subcontinent – and the Arabian Sea to the west of India. The official Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre in this basin is the India Meteorological Department (IMD), while the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) releases unofficial advisories. An average of four to six storms form in the North Indian Ocean every season with peaks in May and November.[1] Cyclones occurring between the meridians 45°E and 100°E are included in the season by the IMD.[2]

Overall, there was a total of seven depressions and four cyclonic storms. The most intense and deadly tropical cyclone of the season, the West Bengal cyclone, lashed that province of India and Bangladesh in the month of November. Rough seas offshore caused at least 173 drownings offshore Bangladesh and India, while over 100 people were left missing. In West Bengal alone, 124 fatalities were reported, with over one hundred people still missing. Flooding occurred there and some areas of Bangladesh, particularly the capital city of Dhaka. Another notable storm was the Oman cyclone in May. It made a rare landfall in the Omani region of Dhofar. The storm brought historic rainfall to Oman, which in turn brought flooding to the region. Nine people drowned and damage to property, crops, and transportation reached $25 million (2002 USD).

Season summary[edit]

2002 Bangladesh cyclone 2002 Oman cyclone

Overall, the season was inactive in terms of tropical cyclone formation. The IMD tracked six tropical cyclones, which was below the average of 13 to 14 per season.[3] No storms were active from June to September during the monsoon season,[3] the first such instance of no depressions in the 115 year record of the IMD.[4] Collectively, the storms of this season resulted in at least 182 deaths and $25 million (2002 USD) in damage, all of which can be attributed to ARB 01 and BOB 04.[5][6][7]

The first storm of the season, ARB 01, developed on May 6 out of an area of low pressure over the Arabian Sea. It peaked winds of 65 km/h (40 mph) before making landfall near Salalah, Oman on May 10. The storm dissipated shortly thereafter.[3] A deep depression, classified as BOB 02, developed in the Andaman Sea on May 10. The deep depression remained disorganized and made landfall near Yangon, Burma before dissipating on May 12.[8] Later that month, a tropical depression, recognized only by the Thailand Meteorological Department, developed in the Bay of Bengal and also made landfall in Burma.[9] Activity in the North Indian Ocean then went dormant for over five months, a direct result of the monsoon season in the region.[3] Tropical cyclogenesis resumed with the development of Tropical Depression BOB 03 forming near Andhra Pradesh on October 22.[10]

On November 11, a severe cyclonic storm – numbered BOB 04 – developed in the Bay of Bengal. It soon became the strongest tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 100 km/h (65 mph) and a minimum barometric pressure of 984 mbar (29.1 inHg). BOB 04 made landfall in Bangladesh on November 12, hours before dissipating. Later in November, another cyclonic storm – assigned to BOB 05 – formed in the Bay of Bengal on November 23. It moved northward before eventually curving westward and dissipating on November 28.[11] The final tropical cyclone developed southwest of Sri Lanka on December 21. The system headed generally east-northeastward and strengthened into cyclonic storm on December 24, before demising well east of Sri Lanka on the following day.[12]


Cyclonic Storm ARB 01[edit]

Cyclonic storm (IMD)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Tropical Cyclone 01A 09 may 2002 0928Z.jpg Cyclone 01A 2002 track.png
Duration May 6 – May 10
Peak intensity 65 km/h (40 mph) (3-min)  996 hPa (mbar)

A low pressure area in the Arabian Sea developed into a depression while located a few hundred miles west-northwest of Maldives at 0300 UTC on May 6.[3][13] By the following day, it had intensified into a deep depression. However, dry air diminished convection,[3] causing the cyclone to weaken to a depression on May 8 at 0300 UTC.[13] Nine hours later, it was upgraded back to a deep depression. On May 8, the cyclone turned west-northwestward. Further intensification occurred, with the deep depression becoming a cyclonic storm at 0600 UTC on May 9. The storm maintained its intensity until weakening slightly early on May 10, while briefly tracking northwestward. Shortly thereafter, it made landfall near Salalah, Oman. The cyclone rapidly weakened and dissipated inland later on May 10.[3]

Waves up to 4 m (13 ft) lashed the coast of Oman, though no coastal flooding occurred. Wind gusts reaching 106 km/h (66 mph) affected some areas of Oman, while light winds were reported in Al Ghaydah, Yemen. The storm brought heavy rainfall to the Dhofar region of Oman, peaking at 251 mm (9.88 in) in the city of Qairoon. Areas in the vicinity of the landfall location of the storm experienced the highest precipitation totals in 30 years.[8] As a result, wadis quickly became rivers, sweeping away cars and drowning nine people.[5][8] Additionally, property, crops, and transportation suffered impacts from flooding.[5] Damage from the storm totaled to $25 million, all of which was in Oman.[6]

Deep Depression BOB 02[edit]

Deep depression (IMD)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Tropical Cyclone 02B 11 may 2002 0608Z.jpg Cyclone 02B 2002 track.png
Duration May 10 – May 12
Peak intensity 55 km/h (35 mph) (3-min)  991 hPa (mbar)

A tropical disturbance near Sumatra was tracked starting on May 7. Although the system was disorganized and convection was sporadic, it managed to develop a low-level center of circulation on May 9. After significant strengthening on May 10, a Tropical Cyclone Formation Alert (TCFA) was issued later that day. Shortly thereafter, the disturbance became Tropical Cyclone 02B at 1200 UTC, while located about 230 km (145 mi) southeast of Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Deep convection continued to be sporadic until becoming persistent early on May 11. Around that time, the deep depression reached 3-minute sustained winds of 55 km/h (35 mph).[8]

Later on May 11, Cyclone 02B unexpectedly accelerated to the north-northeast while crossing the northern Andaman Sea.[8] At 2300 UTC on May 11, the cyclone made landfall just east of Yangon, Burma.[13] By early on the following day, it weakened to a depression. The final warning on Cyclone 02B was issued at 0600 UTC on May 12 and indicated that the storm dissipated about 175 km (110 mi). The city of Yangon experienced wind gusts of about 47 km/h (29 mph), according to the JTWC. Cyclone 02B co-existed in a pair, with the southern counterpart being Tropical Cyclone Errol, which was in the South Indian Ocean within Australian Bureau of Meteorology's responsibility.[8]

Tropical Depression[edit]

Tropical depression (TMD)
Tropical Depression 18 may 2002 0749Z.jpg TMD Depression 2002 track.png
Duration May 17 – May 19
Peak intensity 55 km/h (35 mph) (10-min)  995 hPa (mbar)

The Thailand Meteorological Department began issuing advisories on a tropical depression in the Bay of Bengal on May 17. Several hours later, the JTWC issued a TCFA for the system. Minimal strengthening occurred as the depression tracked rather swiftly toward the coast of Myanmar. At 0900 UTC on May 18, the depression made landfall near Taungup, Rakhine State, with winds of 55 km/h (35 mph). The JTWC cancelled the TCFA seven hours later, having never classified the system as a tropical depression. It weakened inland and dissipated over eastern Myanmar at 0300 UTC on May 19. Impact from this system is unknown.[9]

Depression BOB 03[edit]

Depression (IMD)
Tropical Depression 25 oct 2002 0838Z.jpg October IO Depression 2002 track.png
Duration October 22 – October 25
Peak intensity 45 km/h (30 mph) (3-min)  1003 hPa (mbar)

The JTWC issued a TCFA late on October 22 for a depression located about 235 km (145 mi) east-southeast of Chennai, Tamil Nadu. By 0300 UTC on the following day, the India Meteorological Department issued a bulletin on the depression. Due to multiple low-level center of circulations and an ill-defined structure, the depression was difficult to track. It moved in a quasi-stationary motion offshore Andhra Pradesh. Minimal intensification occurred, and by 1930 UTC on October 25, the depression dissipated about 235 km (145 mi) north of Chennai.[10]

Severe Cyclonic Storm BOB 04[edit]

Severe cyclonic storm (IMD)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Tropical Cyclone 03B 12 nov 2002 0409Z.jpg Cyclone 03B 2002 track.png
Duration November 10 – November 12
Peak intensity 100 km/h (65 mph) (3-min)  984 hPa (mbar)

Tropical Cyclone 04B developed as a depression near Chennai, India on November 10. Later that day, it intensified into a deep depression while tracking northward. As the storm was moving to the northeast, it was upgraded to a cyclonic storm, due to gale force winds. The cyclone came under the influence of mid-latitude trough, which caused the storm to accelerate to the north-northeast. Early on November 12, it was upgraded to a severe cyclonic storm,[11] as maximum sustained winds reached 100 km/h (65 mph). Later that day at 0900 UTC, the storm made landfall near Sagar Island, West Bengal.[13] The cyclone quickly weakened inland and by 1200 UTC on November 12, the IMD issued its final advisory, while the system situated about 200 km (125 mi) northeast of Kolkata.[11]

Rough seas offshore Orissa caused two fishing trawlers to collide, resulting in 18 fatalities, while two additional trawlers were reported missing.[3] In West Bengal, the storm uprooted trees and dropped heavy rainfall, as well as causing two deaths. Strong winds and heavy rainfall in Bangladesh impacted many cities and villages, including the capital city of Dhaka, forcing thousands to evacuate.[11] Ten wooden trawlers carrying 150 men sank offshore Bangladesh. Eight additional boats carrying 60 occupants were reported missing.[14] Along coastal areas of the country, winds destroyed bamboo huts, uprooted trees, and disrupted road transport between various towns and villages. The storm was attributed to at least 51 deaths, while between 111 and 560 people were classified as missing.[11]

Cyclonic Storm BOB 05[edit]

Cyclonic Storm (IMD)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Tropical Cyclone 04B 24 nov 2002 0806Z.jpg Cyclone 04B 2002 track.png
Duration November 23 – November 28
Peak intensity 85 km/h (50 mph) (1-min)  991 hPa (mbar)

A low pressure area developed within an equatorial trough centered over the southeastern Bay of Bengal on November 22. After tracking northwestward for about twenty-four hours, the system developed into Tropical Cyclone 05B, while located about 815 km (505 mi) east-southeast of Chennai, Tamil Nadu. While moving northward, it intensified into a deep depression at 1800 UTC on November 23. Strengthening continued and early on November 24, the deep depression was upgraded to a cyclonic storm. Later that day, the storm turned northwestward and later curved westward.[3]

As it was moving westward, the system became disorganized and the center was difficult to track. Despite significant convection, the JTWC discontinued advisories on the storm at 1200 UTC on November 25, possibly in anticipation that it would soon dissipate. However, it remained a tropical cyclone for almost three more days.[3][11] By 1200 UTC on November 27, the storm was downgraded to a deep depression. The system moved northwestward and weakened further to a depression six hours later. It degenerated into an area of low pressure area while located over the central Bay of Bengal on November 28.[13]

Cyclonic Storm BOB 06[edit]

Cyclonic Storm (IMD)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Tropical Cyclone 05B 24 dec 2002 0505Z.jpg Cyclone 05B 2002 track.png
Duration December 21 – December 25
Peak intensity 65 km/h (40 mph) (1-min)  997 hPa (mbar)

A low pressure area developed in the Intertropical Convergence Zone near Sri Lanka on December 20.[12] Early on December 21, the system developed into a depression.[13] The JTWC issued a TCFA at 1251 UTC on December 22, while it was centered 340 kilometres (210 mi) south-southeast of Sri Lanka. By 1800 UTC on December 23, the JTWC initiated advisories on Tropical Cyclone 06B, which was located about 160 km (100 mi) southeast of Dondra Head, Sri Lanka.[12] At that time, the storm had intensified into a deep depression. Further strengthening occurred, and it was upgraded to a cyclonic storm early on December 24.[13]

After peaking with maximum sustained winds of 65 km/h (40 mph) and a minimum barometric pressure of 997 mbar (29.4 inHg) on December 24,[12][13] the storm soon weakened and convection diminished, possibly due to interaction with a nearby tropical disturbance.[12] By early on the following day, it was downgraded to a deep depression while moving toward the northeast. Later that day, Cyclonic Storm BOB 06 weakened to a depression.[3] At 1800 UTC on December 25, the JTWC issued a final advisory on the cyclone, citing that it degenerated into a remnant low pressure area while located about 685 km (425 mi) east-southeast of Dondra Head, Sri Lanka.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Staff Writer. IMD Cyclone Warning Services: Tropical Cyclones (Report). India Meteorological Department. Archived from the original on 4 November 2008. Retrieved October 21, 2008. 
  2. ^ Staff Writer (January 2009). Report on Cyclonic Disturbances Over the North Indian During 2008 (Report). India Meteorological Department. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 29, 2009. Retrieved May 17, 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k R. R. KelKar (2004). Panel On Tropical Cyclones Annual Review 2002 (PDF) (Report). World Meteorological Organization. pp. 58, 60. Retrieved March 26, 2013. 
  4. ^ S.K. Dash; Jenamani Rajendra Kumar; M. S. Shekhar (May 2004). "On the decreasing frequency of monsoon depressions over the Indian region" (PDF). Current Science. 86 (10): 1404. Retrieved 2014-01-07. 
  5. ^ a b c Ahmed Majid Al-Hakmani (2006). Flood Control Project in Salalah, Oman (PDF) (Report). Regional Centre on Urban Water Management. Retrieved July 23, 2008. [dead link]
  6. ^ a b Dartmouth Flood Observatory (January 8, 2003). 2002 Global Register of Extreme Flood Events (Report). Archived from the original on July 25, 2008. Retrieved March 27, 2013. 
  7. ^ Disaster List. Université Catholique de Louvain (Report). EM-DAT: The OFDA/CRED International Disaster Database. Archived from the original on 3 February 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f Gary Padgett. Monthly Global Tropical Cyclone Summary – May 2002 (Report). Retrieved March 26, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b Gary Padgett (August 1, 2002). Global Tropical Cyclone Tracks – May 2002 (Report). Retrieved September 30, 2012. 
  10. ^ a b Gary Padgett. Monthly Global Tropical Cyclone Summary – October 2002 (Report). Retrieved October 13, 2012. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f Gary Padgett. Monthly Global Tropical Cyclone Summary – November 2002 (Report). Retrieved March 26, 2013. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f Gary Padgett. Monthly Global Tropical Cyclone Summary – December 2002 (Report). Retrieved March 26, 2013. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h Best Tracks Data: 2002 (Report). India Meteorological Department. 2003. Archived from the original on 16 November 2009. Retrieved 23 December 2013. 
  14. ^ "200 feared dead as storm sinks boats in Bangladesh". Deseret News. Associated Press. November 13, 2002. Retrieved August 26, 2012. 

External links[edit]