The storm was centred approximately 860km west-southwest of Goa, 940km southwest of Mumbai, 1,000km south-southwest of Porbandar and 1,300km south of Karachi at 5.30pm on Wednesday.
Forecasters expect the cyclonic storm to continue to intensify and maintain its northward trajectory over the next 12 hours before turning north, north-westward for the subsequent three days. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued warnings for the coastal regions likely to be affected by the storm.
Gale wind speeds ranging from 130-140kmph, with gusts reaching up to 155kmph, are expected to prevail over the east-central Arabian Sea and its adjacent areas of west-central and south Arabian Sea on Thursday. Squally weather with wind speeds of 35-45kmph, gusting to 55kmph, is also anticipated along the Karnataka-Goa-Maharashtra coasts. Similar warnings have been issued for Karnataka-Goa-Maharashtra coasts till June 10, and later for Maharashtra-Gujarat coasts till June 12.
IMD has also issued a warning to fishermen, urging them to exercise extreme caution and follow safety protocols. It has advised suspension of fishing operations completely in various areas until June 14. Those out at sea have been advised to return to the coast.
Experts said cyclones in June were mostly because of the advancing monsoon jet, which provided favourable conditions to spin up cyclones. “A total of 11 cyclones have formed over the Arabian Sea in the month of June from 1979 to 2022,” said Dr Akshay Deoras, research scientist, University of Reading, UK.
Biparjoy is no threat to the west coast of India as per the initial forecasts because the cyclone is much away from the Indian coast.
Dr Roxy Mathew Koll, senior climate expert from Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, said since cyclone Biparjoy has formed over the Arabian Sea and is moving north-northwestward, it could drive the moisture away from India. He said this could hamper the onset and progression of monsoon.
Biparjoy is the first cyclone to form in June in the Arabian sea since 2020.