2018 North Indian Ocean cyclone season

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2018 North Indian Ocean cyclone season
2018 North Indian Ocean cyclone season summary.png
Season summary map
Seasonal boundaries
First system formed13 March 2018 (2018-03-13)
Last system dissipated18 December 2018 (2018-12-18)
Strongest storm
 • Maximum winds175 km/h (110 mph)
(3-minute sustained)
 • Lowest pressure960 hPa (mbar)
Seasonal statistics
Deep depressions9
Cyclonic storms7
Severe cyclonic storms5
Very severe cyclonic storms3
Super cyclonic storms0
Total fatalities343 total
Total damage$4.325 billion (2018 USD)
Related articles
North Indian Ocean tropical cyclone seasons
2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

The 2018 North Indian Ocean cyclone season was the most active North Indian Ocean cyclone season since 1992, with the formation of fourteen depressions and seven cyclones. The North Indian Ocean cyclone season has no official bounds, but cyclones tend to form between April and December, with the two peaks in May and November. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the northern Indian Ocean.

The scope of this article is limited to the Indian Ocean in the Northern Hemisphere, east of the Horn of Africa and west of the Malay Peninsula. There are two main seas in the North Indian Ocean — the Arabian Sea to the west of the Indian subcontinent, abbreviated ARB by the India Meteorological Department (IMD); and the Bay of Bengal to the east, abbreviated BOB by the IMD.

The official Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre in this basin is the India Meteorological Department (IMD), while the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) and the National Meteorological Center of CMA (NMC) unofficially release full advisories. On average, three to four cyclonic storms form in this basin every season.[1][2]

Season summary[edit]

Cyclone GajaCyclone LubanCyclone MekunuCyclone Sagar
Very Severe Cyclonic Storms Luban (left) and Titli (right) over the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, respectively, on 10 October 2018. This was the first time that two simultaneous cyclones were active in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea since reliable records began in 1960.


Depression ARB 01[edit]

Depression (IMD)
ARB01 2018-03-15 0800Z.jpg ARB01 2018 track.png
DurationMarch 13 – March 15
Peak intensity45 km/h (30 mph) (3-min)  1006 hPa (mbar)

On March 10, a low pressure area formed in the Indian Ocean near the equator.[3] It became better defined on March 13 and concentrated into a depression in the extreme southeast Arabian Sea.[4][5] The depression moved north-northwestwards and weakened into a well-marked low pressure area over Lakshadweep, early on March 15.[3]

An unusual feature of the depression was that it was formed very close to the equator, at a latitude of 1.7°N.[6] Though the equatorial seas heat up more rapidly, the spin required for tropical cyclone formation is weak near the equator.[6] The coastal port city of Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu, very close to the southern tip, received 200 mm of rain, its highest daily precipitation ever recorded, on March 13. Minicoy Island in Lakshadweep received 177 mm of rain from the system.[6]

Cyclonic Storm Sagar[edit]

Cyclonic storm (IMD)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Sagar 2018-05-18 1035Z.jpg Sagar 2018 track.png
DurationMay 16 – May 20
Peak intensity85 km/h (50 mph) (3-min)  994 hPa (mbar)

On May 16, a low-pressure area moved into the Gulf of Aden and developed into a depression, receiving the designation ARB 02.[7] On the next day, the system strengthened into a cyclonic storm and was given the name Sagar.[8] On May 18, the system strengthened and organized into a small and compact cyclone, with a rough eye feature.[9] Under the influence of a ridge anchored over the Arabian Sea, the cyclone moved southwestward into the Gulf of Aden, and made landfall on Somalia between 1:30 PM and 2:30 PM (IST) on May 19.[10]

The northern part of Sagar brought heavy rain and some minor flooding to coastal towns of Yemen.[11] Yemen's temporary capital Aden was hit by strong winds as tropical cyclone Sagar approached, prompting authorities to a call on residents to evacuate areas near the shore in the southern port city.[12] Sagar brought heavy rainfall to coastal areas in Yemen's Hadramawt and Mahra provinces and Socotra Island. Strong winds in Hadramawt and Mahra damaged homes and led to numerous power outages,[12] and the deaths of 52 people,[13] including 23 from a landslide in Ethiopia.[14][15]

Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm Mekunu[edit]

Extremely severe cyclonic storm (IMD)
Category 3 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
Mekunu 2018-05-25 0947Z.jpg Mekunu 2018 track.png
DurationMay 21 – May 27
Peak intensity175 km/h (110 mph) (3-min)  960 hPa (mbar)

An area of convection developed to the northwest of the Maldives on May 18.[16] Over the next two days, it became better organized and the IMD reported that it had developed into a low pressure area on May 20, giving it the identifier ARB 03.[17] The system slowly drifted northwestwards into favorable environment for tropical cyclogenesis and developed good outflow.[18] The JTWC issued a TCFA on May 21 after convective bands began to wrap into the broad low-level circulation center (LLCC).[19] Around the same time, the IMD had announced that the system intensified into a depression.[20] Over the next 24 hours, the depression continued to drift further northwestwards into warm waters and faced low vertical wind shear. As a result, it continued to intensify and the JTWC began tracking it as a tropical storm.[21] Subsequently, the IMD upgraded it to a deep depression[22] and Cyclonic Storm Mekunu later the same day.[23] Multi-spectral satellite imagery revealed that Mekunu had developed an eye as early as May 23,[24] at which time the IMD upgraded it to a severe cyclonic storm.[25] Benefiting from favorable environmental conditions, the cyclone became more symmetric,[26] intensifying into a very severe cyclonic storm six hours later.[27] The cyclone continued to track northwestward under the influence of a subtropical ridge.[28] On May 25, it reached its peak intensity as an extremely severe cyclonic storm, with the JTWC estimating peak 1-minute sustained winds of 185 km/h (115 mph), equivalent to a Category 3 storm on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

Under the influence of Mekunu, Socotra received widespread rainfall leading to flash flooding and downed power lines. At least 40 people were initially reported to be missing after two ships were capsized off Socotra.[29] Mekunu made landfall on the Omani coast near the city of Salalah at peak intensity. Gusts of 67 mph (108 km/h) were recorded at the Salalah Airport before the landfall while areas in the Salalah recorded rainfall of 194 mm (7.6 in).[30] As of 31 May, at least 30 people have died in Oman and Yemen due to Mekunu, including 20 on Socotra, four in Yemen,[31] and six in Oman.[32] Insurance claims in Oman reached 108 million (US$281 million).[33][34]

Deep Depression BOB 01[edit]

Deep depression (IMD)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
BOB01 2018-05-29 0745Z.jpg BOB01 2018 track.png
DurationMay 29 – May 30
Peak intensity55 km/h (35 mph) (3-min)  990 hPa (mbar)

Myanmar's Meteorology and Hydrology Department issued a red-code emergency alert warning on Tuesday prior to landfall.[35] Strong wind, along with torrential rain, destroyed over 500 houses in Shwe Pyi Tha township in Myanmar's Yangon region. The strong wind knocked down trees and destroyed many houses, cutting power supply in the township.[36] Temporary shelters were set up to accommodate the homeless victims with aid provided. On the same day, heavy rain and strong wind also blew off tree branches in Hmawbi, Dagon Myothit-north and other townships.[36] The local authorities have suspended the waterway of Angumaw-Sittway for three days.[36]

Depression BOB 02[edit]

Depression (IMD)
BOB02 2018-06-10 0650Z.jpg BOB02 2018 track.png
DurationJune 10 – June 10
Peak intensity45 km/h (30 mph) (3-min)  989 hPa (mbar)

Squally weather affected the maritime ports, North Bay, and adjoining coastal areas of Bangladesh. The maritime ports of Chattogram, Cox's Bazar, Mongla and Payra had been advised to keep hoisted local cautionary signal No. 3. In Patenga, 150 mm of rain was recorded within the previous two days.[37]

Depression BOB 03[edit]

Depression (IMD)
BOB 03 2018-07-21 0800Z.jpg BOB03 2018 track.png
DurationJuly 21 – July 23
Peak intensity45 km/h (30 mph) (3-min)  989 hPa (mbar)

The system continued to move west-northwestward and reached western Uttar Pradesh and the Indian capital of New Delhi by July 26, causing widespread rain over the region. Meerut in Uttar Pradesh received 226 mm of rain in 24 hours, on July 27, while Delhi received 83 mm over a period of 5 days, beginning on July 26. At least 69 people were killed in Uttar Pradesh, due to heavy rains from the storm as a low-pressure area.[38][39] The river Yamuna crossed the danger level of 204.83 meters in the national capital of Delhi on July 27, and reached to 205.5 meters by July 29, nearly 70 cm above the danger level, prompting the evacuation of more than 1,500 people in Delhi.[40]

Depression BOB 04[edit]

Depression (IMD)
BOB 04 2018-08-07 0705Z.jpg BOB04 2018 track.png
DurationAugust 7 – August 8
Peak intensity45 km/h (30 mph) (3-min)  992 hPa (mbar)

Depression BOB 05[edit]

Depression (IMD)
BOB 05 2018-08-16 0740Z.jpg BOB05 2018 track.png
DurationAugust 15 – August 17
Peak intensity45 km/h (30 mph) (3-min)  994 hPa (mbar)

Deep Depression BOB 06[edit]

Deep depression (IMD)
BOB 06 2018-09-06 0735Z.jpg BOB06 2018 track.png
DurationSeptember 6 – September 7
Peak intensity55 km/h (35 mph) (3-min)  990 hPa (mbar)

Cyclonic Storm Daye[edit]

Cyclonic storm (IMD)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Daye 2018-09-21 0505Z.jpg Daye 2018 track.png
DurationSeptember 19 – September 22
Peak intensity65 km/h (40 mph) (3-min)  992 hPa (mbar)

On September 19, a depression formed over the east central Bay of Bengal, receiving the designation BOB 07. Soon afterward, the JTWC has issued a Tropical Cyclone Formation Alert (TCFA). Early on September 20, the storm intensified into a deep depression over the west central Bay of Bengal. The system intensified further, becoming Cyclonic Storm Daye later that day, while situated over the northwestern Bay of Bengal. Early on September 21, Daye made landfall on south Odisha, also impacting the adjoining north Andhra Pradesh coast near Gopalpur, during the morning, local time, resulting in heavy rains and strong winds of 65 to 75 km/h in various districts in the regions. Upon its landfall, Daye brought heavy to very heavy rainfall in various districts of Odisha. Following landfall, Daye weakened into a depression. Over the next two days, Daye continued moving westward, while dropping heavy amounts of rain across India. On September 22, Daye weakened into a well-marked low, with the IMD issuing its final advisory on the system.[41]

Prior to the cyclone's landfall at midnight, local time, on September 21, the government of Odisha deployed emergency teams in Malkangiri, with more teams on standby in Rayagada, Gajapati, and Puri. One NDRF team had each been deployed in Kalahandi, Rayagada, Gajapati, Puri, Nayagarh, and Kandhamal districts, with 17 boats and other emergency equipment. Local cautionary Signal Number LC-III had been kept hoisted at all ports of Odisha when the cyclone was a deep depression.[41]

Malkangiri was worst affected, with many houses submerged. Several parts of outer Malkangiri city and rural areas of the district reportedly received heavy cyclonic rains. Several houses had submerged into water, leaving many people homeless. According to reports, a maximum rainfall total of 284 mm was recorded at Malkangiri by the India Meteorological department (IMD). In Balasore District, the water was flowing above the danger level in the Jalaka River. Water level increased in the Kolab Dam and two gates were opened.[41]

The outer rainbands of the storm dropped extremely heavy rain in the southern parts of West Bengal. Digha recorded 229 mm of rain, Contai received 331 mm of rain, Diamond Harbour recorded 66 mm of rain, Midnapore received 79 mm of rain, and Halisahar recorded 51 mm of rain. Torrential rains and flash floods were also reported in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Punjab, resulting in at least 25 deaths. The floodgates of the famous Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh were opened, for the first time in 10 years.[41]

As Daye weakened into a low-pressure area, the storm interacted with another western disturbance to the north, leading to widespread rainfall in the northern Himalayas and the plains to the south, from September 22–24. Delhi received heavy rains between September 22–24 totaling 58.6 mm, resulting in severe waterlogging. High temperatures in Delhi were up to 6 Degrees Celsius below normal. Amritsar in Punjab received large amounts of rainfall ending early on September 24, with a total of 203.0 mm, while Karnal in Haryana received one of its highest 24-hour rainfall totals in September, with a total of 142.0 mm.[41]

Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Luban[edit]

Very severe cyclonic storm (IMD)
Category 1 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
Luban 2018-10-10 0926Z.jpg Luban 2018 track.png
DurationOctober 6 – October 15
Peak intensity140 km/h (85 mph) (3-min)  976 hPa (mbar)

On October 14, Cyclonic Storm Luban struck Yemen in the midst of a civil war and a cholera outbreak,[42] and forced 2,203 families to leave their houses, utilizing 38 schools for shelter. The storm killed 14 people in the country, and injured another 124 people, with 10 people were still missing.[43][44] Public loss in Yemen were at US$1 billion.[45]

Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Titli[edit]

Very severe cyclonic storm (IMD)
Category 2 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
Titli 2018-10-10 0745Z.jpg Titli 2018 track.png
DurationOctober 8 – October 12
Peak intensity150 km/h (90 mph) (3-min)  970 hPa (mbar)

On October 6, a low-pressure area formed in the Andaman Sea. Over the next two days, the disaster entered the Bay of Bengal and became a depression on October 8, receiving the designation BOB 08 from the IMD. Afterward, the storm rapidly strengthened, becoming a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm on October 9, with the strength of a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir–Simpson scale (SSHWS).

Between 4:30 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. IST on October 11 (23:00–00:00 UTC on October 10–11), Titli made landfall near Palasa, Andhra Pradesh, at peak intensity.

Titli killed at least 77 people in Odisha and left a couple of others missing, due to heavy flooding and landslides,[46] and caused another 8 deaths in Andhra Pradesh.[47] The storm weakened into a depression before entering West Bengal, wreaking havoc in some parts of South Bengal, and bringing torrential rain and gale-force wind.[48] Damage from flooding caused by Titli totaled at 3,673.1 crore (US$507 million) in Andhra Pradesh,[49] and ₹3,000 crore (US$413 million) in Odisha.[50]

Severe Cyclonic Storm Gaja[edit]

Severe cyclonic storm (IMD)
Category 1 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
Gaja 2018-11-15 0515Z.jpg Gaja 2018 track.png
DurationNovember 10 – November 20
Peak intensity110 km/h (70 mph) (3-min)  992 hPa (mbar)

On November 5, a low pressure system formed over the Gulf of Thailand. The system crossed through Southern Thailand and the Malay Peninsula on November 8. On the next day, it crossed into the Andaman Sea and lingered there, organizing further throughout the day, before intensifying into a depression over the Bay of Bengal on November 10, with the IMD designating the system as Depression BOB 09. Soon afterward, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) issued a Tropical Cyclone Formation Alert (TCFA) on the system. At 00:00 UTC on November 11, the deep depression strengthened into a cyclonic storm, and was named Gaja. After tracking west-southwestward for a number of days, it made landfall in southern India, on November 16. The storm survived crossing over into the Arabian Sea later that day; however, it degenerated into a remnant low in hostile conditions only several days later, on November 20. On the next day, the storm's remnants dissipated near Socotra.

In India, 52 people were killed by the storm.[51] Damage nationwide was about ₹54,000 crore (US$775 million).[52]

Severe Cyclonic Storm Phethai[edit]

Severe cyclonic storm (IMD)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Phethai 2018-12-15 0740Z.jpg Phethai 2018 track.png
DurationDecember 13 – December 18
Peak intensity100 km/h (65 mph) (3-min)  993 hPa (mbar)

An area of convection developed in the southern Bay of Bengal on December 13. The disturbance was forecasted having little chance to develop; however, the storm's convection persisted and organized, resulting in the storm being classified as Depression BOB 10. The depression gradually organized and intensified into a deep depression on December 14. Within 24 hours, the deep depression attained 3-minute sustained winds of 40 mph, and the storm was named Phethai. Phethai steadily strengthened and on December 16, Phethai peaked with 65 mph winds and at severe cyclonic storm status. The storm steadily weakened and made landfall at Katrenikona on December 17, with 3-minute sustained winds of 50 mph. Phethai rapidly weakened as it traversed Andhra Pradesh, and finally dissipated over a tropical rainforest south west of Kolkata.

Eight people were reported dead after Phethai,[53] and the agricultural damage in Andhra Pradesh was estimated at ₹294.54 crore (US$41.1 million).[54][55]

Storm names[edit]

Within this basin, a tropical cyclone is assigned a name when it is judged to have reached Cyclonic Storm intensity, with winds of 65 km/h (40 mph). The names were selected by members of the ESCAP/WMO panel on Tropical Cyclones between 2000 and May 2004, before the Regional Specialized Meteorological Center in New Delhi started to assign names in September 2004. There is no retirement of tropical cyclone names in this basin, as the list of names is only scheduled to be used once before a new list of names is drawn up. Should a named tropical cyclone move into the basin from the Western Pacific, then it will retain its original name. The next eight available names from the List of North Indian Ocean storm names are below.

  • Phethai
  • Fani (unused)

Season effects[edit]

This is a table of all storms in the 2018 North Indian Ocean cyclone season. It mentions all of the season's storms and their names, duration, peak intensities (according to the IMD storm scale), damage, and death totals. Damage and death totals include the damage and deaths caused when that storm was a precursor wave or extratropical low, and all of the damage figures are in 2018 USD.

Name Dates active Peak classification Sustained
wind speeds
Pressure Areas affected Damage
Deaths Refs
ARB 01 March 13 – 15 Depression 45 km/h (30 mph) 1006 hPa (29.71 inHg) South India, Maldives None None
Sagar May 16 – 20 Cyclonic storm 85 km/h (50 mph) 994 hPa (29.35 inHg) Yemen, Horn of Africa $30 million 79 [56][15][57]
Mekunu May 21 – 27 Extremely severe cyclonic storm 175 km/h (110 mph) 960 hPa (28.35 inHg) Yemen, Oman, Saudi Arabia $1.5 billion 31 [31][32][58]
BOB 01 May 29 – 30 Deep depression 55 km/h (35 mph) 990 hPa (29.23 inHg) Myanmar None 5 [59]
BOB 02 June 10 – 11 Depression 45 km/h (30 mph) 989 hPa (29.20 inHg) Bangladesh None None
BOB 03 July 21 – 23 Depression 45 km/h (30 mph) 989 hPa (29.20 inHg) East India, North India Unknown 69
BOB 04 August 7 – 8 Depression 45 km/h (30 mph) 992 hPa (29.29 inHg) East India None None
BOB 05 August 15 – 17 Depression 45 km/h (30 mph) 994 hPa (29.35 inHg) East India, Central India, West India Unknown None
BOB 06 September 6 – 7 Deep depression 55 km/h (35 mph) 990 hPa (29.23 inHg) East India Unknown None
Daye September 19 – 22 Cyclonic storm 65 km/h (40 mph) 992 hPa (29.29 inHg) Andhra Pradesh, East India, Central India, North India Minimal None
Luban October 6 – 15 Very severe cyclonic storm 140 km/h (85 mph) 976 hPa (28.82 inHg) Yemen, Oman $1 billion 14 [43][45]
Titli October 8 – 12 Very severe cyclonic storm 150 km/h (90 mph) 970 hPa (28.64 inHg) Andhra Pradesh, East India $920 million 85 [46][47][49][50][60]
Gaja November 10 – 19 Severe cyclonic storm 110 km/h (70 mph) 992 hPa (29.29 inHg) Andaman Islands, Tamil Nadu (India), Sri Lanka $775 million 52 [51]
Phethai December 13 – 18 Severe cyclonic storm 100 km/h (65 mph) 993 hPa (29.32 inHg) East India, Northeast India $100 million 8 [53]
Season aggregates
14 systems March 13 – December 18  175 km/h (110 mph) 960 hPa (28.35 inHg) $4.33 billion 343

See also[edit]


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