Cyclone Remal

Cyclone Remal


Why in the News?  

Recently, severe cyclonic storm Remal made landfall between the coasts of West Bengal and Bangladesh, unleashing winds up to 135 mph. At 8:30 pm on Sunday, the storm struck between Sagar Island and Khepupara near the southwest of Mongla in Bangladesh. It brought torrential rains, flooding homes and farmlands and leaving widespread destruction in its wake. 

Oman gives the name ‘Remal’ in the list of tropical cyclones. It will be the first cyclone to hit the region this 2024 pre-monsoon season. ‘Remal,’ meaning ‘sand’ in Arabic.  

What is a Cyclone? 

  • A cyclone consists of a massive air mass revolving around a core of low atmospheric pressure. Its defining feature is the circular motion of its winds, which move counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere, a phenomenon attributed to the Coriolis effect. 
  • Cyclones are intense storm systems characterized by strong winds and significant rainfall. They develop from the ascent of warm, moist air, leading to a low-pressure region. The air from surrounding areas rushes into this low-pressure space and begins to spin because of the Coriolis effect. There are several types of cyclones:
  1. Tropical cyclones form over warm ocean waters and include hurricanes and typhoons.
  2. Polar cyclones occur over the Arctic and Antarctic seas.
  3. Mesocyclones, which are rotating updrafts within thunderstorms.
  4. Extratropical cyclones form along frontal boundaries in the middle latitudes.
  • The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) categorizes cyclones based on their wind speeds as follows:
    • Depression: Wind speeds range from 31 to 49 km/h.
    • Deep Depression: Wind speeds are between 50 and 61 km/h.
    • Cyclonic Storm: Wind speeds range from 62 to 88 km/h.
    • Severe Cyclonic Storm: Wind speeds are between 89 and 117 km/h.
    • Very Severe Cyclonic Storm: Wind speeds range from 118 to 166 km/h.
    • Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm: Wind speeds are between 167 and 221 km/h.
    • Super Cyclonic Storm: Wind speeds exceed 222 km/h. 

About Tropical Cyclone: 

  • A tropical cyclone is a swiftly spinning storm characterized by a centre of low pressure, intense winds, and a spiral configuration of thunderstorms that results in significant rainfall. These phenomena develop above warm tropical or subtropical seas, gaining their energy from the evaporation of water. This vapour turns into clouds and precipitation as moist air ascends and cools. 
  • The core of a cyclone is notably tranquil and clear, characterized by significantly low atmospheric pressure. Cyclones typically move at an average velocity of 120 mph, facilitated by closed isobars, contributing to their high speeds.
  • Isobars, conceptual lines on weather maps, link areas sharing the same atmospheric pressure. Cyclones form exclusively over bodies of water like oceans and seas. 
  • They occur periodically and travel from the east to the west, driven by the trade winds. Landfall is the event of a tropical cyclone coming onto land after being over water.
  • According to the IMD, when the centre, or “eye,” of a tropical cyclone crosses over the coastline, the storm is considered to have made landfall. The eye is the calm region at the heart of the storm, known for its relatively mild weather conditions.
  • It appears as a circular or oval zone with minimal rainfall, distinguished by gentle breezes and clear skies. Inside the eye, the winds are weak and changeable, and the sky can be clear or only partly cloudy.
  • The diameter of the eye can greatly differ, stretching from a few kilometres to more than 50 kilometres (approximately 30 miles) across in the case of larger cyclones.
  • During landfall, the storm’s outer bands bring winds, rain, and surge, but a ‘direct hit’ means the eyewall hits the coast, even if the centre stays offshore. 


Cyclones are formidable atmospheric phenomena characterized by their unique rotating wind patterns, leading to extreme weather events. Specific atmospheric conditions influence the development and strength of these systems, and they can have far-reaching and catastrophic effects. The havoc wrought by cyclones includes but is not limited to, powerful gusts, significant precipitation, coastal storm surges, and widespread flooding. Despite their potential for destruction, cyclones also contribute significantly to the global climate by moving heat and energy from the tropics to other parts of the world. 

Download Yojna daily current affairs eng med 27th May 2024



Q. Which atmospheric conditions influence the development and strength of cyclones? Discuss long-term strategies to rebuild and rehabilitate areas in India affected by cyclones.

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