The India Meteorological Department has said that a low-pressure area over the South Andaman Sea is set to turn into a cyclone – to be named Asani – by Sunday. It is reported that it may move north towards India’s eastern coast.

IMD officials said the low-pressure area would likely intensify into a depression by Saturday evening and into a cyclonic storm over the Bay of Bengal 24 hours later.

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It is then expected to continue north-northwest and near coastal Andhra Pradesh and Odisha by May 10. IMD stated that Asani is likely to make landfall between Visakhapatnam and Bhubaneswar between May 10 and 11.

On Friday, the low-pressure area was over 1,000 km from the Indian coastline. The weather department is due to provide further updates on its current position later today.

Projections show the weather system moving at an increasing rate of knots over the next four days. Expected speed is 25 knots tomorrow and a maximum of 45 knots on May 10, when it is expected to have transformed into a cyclone.

Is the date and location of landfall confirmed?

No. It is still too early to predict the weather system’s precise progression. “There is a lot of divergence between what different models are showing. The model forecasts are also changing frequently… so we can’t say immediately if this cyclone will make landfall…” Ananda Kumar Das, in-charge of the IMD’s cyclone monitoring department, said.

The officials have also pointed out the storm may make a U-turn and head back out to sea or make a sharp turn and head towards Bangladesh.

What does Asani mean?

If the low-pressure area develops into a cyclone, it will be called Asani, which is a name given by Sri Lankan weather authorities. In Sinhalese, Asani means ‘wrath’, or ‘anger’.