May 13, 2013
NASA Sees Tropical Cyclone Mahasen Strengthening
The first tropical cyclone in the Northern Indian Ocean this season has been getting better organized as seen in NASA satellite imagery. Tropical Cyclone Mahasen is projected to track north through the Bay of Bengal and make landfall later this week.
On Monday, May 13 at 0900 UTC (5 a.m. EDT) Mahasen had maximum sustained winds near 50 knots (57.5 mph/92.6 kph). Those winds are expected to increase of the next couple of days. Mahasen was centered near 12.1 north latitude and 86.3 east longitude in the Bay of Bengal, and about 660 nautical miles (759.5 miles/ 1,222 km) south of Kolkata, India. Mahasen is moving to the northwest at 4 knots (4.6 mph/7.4 kph), but is expected to move in a more northerly direction as a result of interaction with a mid-latitude trough (elongated area) of low pressure moving in from the west.
The storm is expected to reach hurricane force by May 15 as it curves northwest. The current forecast track from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center takes the center of Mahasen just north of Chittagong early on May 17 and into northern Burma. Residents in Bangladesh and Burma should begin making preparations for storm surge, heavy rain and strong winds.