Questions about Sitrang’s prediction errors

Coast Guard members

A special bulletin was published by the Meteorological Department last Monday at 10 pm. It said, ‘Cyclone Sitrang has started crossing the Barisal-Chittagong coast near Bhola at 9 pm. It can cross the coast in three-four hours.’

Three and a half hours earlier that day, the 6:30 pm bulletin said, ‘Cyclone may start passing by Bhola by midnight tonight (Monday)/early tomorrow morning.’ A question has been raised about such a forecast of the weather in a gap of three and a half hours.

There was also confusion about which region of the Bangladesh coast the cyclone would enter. The Meteorological Department’s two o’clock bulletin said, ‘The cyclone is likely to cross the Barisal-Chittagong coast near Khepupara in Patuakhali.’ Four and a half hours later, the 6:30 PM bulletin said, ‘It may start crossing the Barisal-Chittagong coast from Bhola.

Disasters like Cyclone Sitrang should be forecasted as accurately and timely as possible. It is also necessary to specify the area that can be affected. This will give the people of that area enough time to move to a safe place. Earlier in the case of cyclones like Sidor, Aila, Yas, the Meteorological Department’s forecast was very accurate.

Questions about Sitrang’s

In the past, the highest wind speeds have been found in areas around the center of the cyclone. For example, in 2007, when Cyclone Sidor hit the front, the wind speed was 120 to 140 km/h. And while the central part crosses the coast, the wind speed exceeds 200 kmph.

Meteorologist Md. Bajlur Rashid told Prothom Alo on Tuesday that every cyclone has different characteristics. Sitrang also had different characteristics. But it was pretty random.

According to Bajlur Rashid, it divides into three parts during the low pressure before it forms a cyclone. Changed course repeatedly. First Odisha in India, then West Bengal and finally towards the coast of Bangladesh. The India Meteorological Department also called it a severe cyclone till yesterday. But on the way in, it sheds heavy rains, losing power. So it comes quickly and goes quickly.

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