Tropical Cyclone Fani makes landfall in India

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Tropical Cyclone Fani made landfall in Odisha, northeastern India on 3 May 2019.

Date & Time
28 April 02:00–08:00 UTC and 2 May 2019 18:00 UTC–3 May 06:00 UTC
Infrared Channel, Tropical Airmass RGB

By Vesa Nietosvaara (EUMETSAT), Sancha Lancaster (Pactum) and HansPeter Roesli (Switzerland)

Cyclone Fani was classed as an 'extremely severe' storm when it made landfall in Odisha, with wind speeds up to 185km/h. This made it the strongest storm to hit India in two decades. At least three people were reported to have died.

The Meteosat-8 enhanced infrared image (Figure 1) shows Fani as it started to make landfall on 3 May at 00:00 UTC

Figure 1
Figure 1: Meteosat-8 enhanced infrared, 3 May 00:00 UTC

Fani formed from a depression located west of Sumatra on 26 April and it had intensified into a cyclonic storm within 24 hours. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center classed Fani as an equivalent to a Category 1 tropical cyclone (on the Saffir-Simpson scale) on 29 April and within hours it was upgraded to a Category 3-equivalent cyclone.

Figure 2 shows Fani on 28 April, in a rare sighting on satellite imagery of two tropical cyclones aligned along the same longitude, Fani (north) and Lorna (south). For in-depth case see Rare sighting of two tropical cyclones on same longitude.

Figure 2: Meteosat-8 Tropical Airmass RGB, 28 April 02:00–08:00 UTC

Development proceeded more slowly over the following days but on 2 May the eye became more distinct, and Fani was upgraded to a Category 4 equivalent cyclone by the JTWC Shortly after, Fani started another period of rapid intensification, attaining 1-minute sustained winds of 250 km/h (155 mph) just below JTWC's Category 5-equivalent tropical cyclone intensity.

Figure 3 shows Meteosat-8's view of Fani's intensification to the time it made landfall in May

Figure 3: Meteosat-8 infrared animation, 2 May 18:00 UTC–03 May 06:00 UTC
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