Cyclone biporjoy is a very severe cyclonic storm that formed in the Arabian Sea in June 2023. It is expected to make landfall in Gujarat, India, on Thursday, June 15, with wind speeds of up to 150 kmph. It is the fourth-strongest cyclone that occurred in June in the Arabian Sea, and has caused heavy rains and strong winds in Mumbai and other coastal areas of Maharashtra and Gujarat.
Cyclone biporjoy originated from a low pressure area that developed over the southeast Arabian Sea on June 8. It intensified into a depression on June 9, and then into a deep depression on June 10. It further strengthened into a cyclonic storm on June 11, and was named Biporjoy by the India Meteorological Department (IMD). The name Biporjoy means 'victory' in Bengali, and was suggested by Bangladesh.
On June 12, Biporjoy intensified into a severe cyclonic storm, and then into a very severe cyclonic storm on June 13. It reached its peak intensity on June 14, with maximum sustained wind speeds of 195 kmph and a minimum central pressure of 960 hPa. It is currently moving northward at a speed of 9 kmph, under the influence of a subtropical ridge to the east.
According to the IMD, Biporjoy is very likely to cross Saurashtra and Kutch and adjoining Pakistan coasts between Mandvi (Gujarat) and Karachi (Pakistan) near Jakhau Port (Gujarat) by Thursday noon as a very severe cyclonic storm with maximum sustained wind speed of 125-135 kmph gusting to 150 kmph. It is likely to cause heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places over Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. It is also likely to cause storm surge of about 1-2 meters above astronomical tide along and off Gujarat coast.
The IMD has issued red alerts for several districts of Gujarat and orange alerts for some districts of Maharashtra and Rajasthan. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has deployed 53 teams in Gujarat and Maharashtra for rescue and relief operations. The Indian Coast Guard has also deployed ships and aircrafts for surveillance and assistance. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has chaired a high-level meeting to review the preparedness for the cyclone, and has directed officials to ensure maintenance of all essential services and evacuation of people living in vulnerable locations.
Cyclone biporjoy is a rare phenomenon in June, as most cyclones in the Arabian Sea occur in May or October-November. The last time a very severe cyclonic storm hit Gujarat in June was in 1998, when cyclone ARB 01 caused widespread damage and killed over 1,000 people. Experts attribute the increasing frequency and intensity of cyclones in the Arabian Sea to climate change, which has caused warmer sea surface temperatures and favourable atmospheric conditions for cyclone formation.