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    TC 01A Comes, Goes

    June 16, 2011, 2:51:33 AM EDT


    The struggle for best forecast scenario related to the matter of cyclone (or no) in the Arabian Sea seems to have been won by none of the computer forecast models that I followed.

    The right answer to the conundrum was that a minimal tropical cyclone (TC 01A, or "One") wound up south of Kathiawar (Gujarat, India) late last week, then weakened to a tropical depression upon brushing the western shore of Kathiawar.

    At this writing, the last of 01A is fading away well south of Karachi.


    Path of the cyclonic disturbance that became TC 01A, or "One" (Joint Typhoon Warning Center image).

    According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC), highest sustained winds about TC One were 35 knots, or 65 km/hr.

    Readers of this column may recall that at least one computer model (GFS) persisted for days in forecasting a major tropical cyclone over the northern Arabian Sea. It did not desist in this bent until TC One was a reality.

    The NOGAPS and ECMWF showed nothing like the GFS scenario, but they did not show the Kathiawar storm. Even so, given that these two models did not show a potentially destructive cyclone, I believe it fair to say that they had the better forecasts.


    Now that the cyclone conundrum is over, the focus for South Asia lies with the SW Monsoon. Its onset should take place progressively towards the north and the northwest in the near future.

    Over the coming days it will bear watching, whether or not a Monsoon low takes shape over the northwestern Bay of Bengal.

    I was not able to load the 2011 Monsoon onset map on the India Meteorology Department (IMD) site today, so I do not know where the latest line has been drawn. It had been, as I recall, drawn eastward from southernmost Gujarat to the northern Bay of Bengal, thence northward through Bangladesh to the Himalaya.

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