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India to Escape Blow From New Cyclone; Another Threat Looms

Residents of eastern India can breathe a sigh of relief that a new tropical cyclone will fizzle before moving inland, but another danger lurks for next week.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center officially named Tropical Cyclone 05B in the Bay of Bengal early Thursday morning, local time, while the India Meteorological Department continued to call the system a Deep Depression.

Regardless of the exact classification, the cyclone is expected to strengthen slightly through Friday as it drifts toward India in the central Bay of Bengal. Rough seas will get kicked up to create hazards for boaters during this time.

At its peak, the strength of the cyclone will be equal to that of a minimal to moderate tropical storm in the Pacific or Atlantic basins.

The cyclone will make more westward progress this weekend, reaching India's southern Andhra Pradesh on Sunday (local time).

The good news is that dry air in the path of the cyclone will cause it to weaken dramatically before landfall, diminishing the fears of flooding rain and destructive winds across eastern India.

At most, there will be an increase in showers along the coast of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha this weekend.

While eastern India will escape a blow from Tropical Cyclone 05B, residents are being put on alert for a potential new threat next week.

Current indications point toward a tropical low developing in the Gulf of Thailand early this weekend, then strengthening in the Andaman Sea as the weekend transitions into early next week. Eastern India may then be faced with a landfalling tropical cyclone around the middle of next week.

As the low moves from the Gulf of Thailand to the Andaman Sea, heavy and potentially flooding rain will spread across southern Thailand and northern Malaysia this weekend.

While this area is accustomed to experiencing downpours, Meteorologist Anthony Sagliani clarified that "this will be a more organized area of heavy rain instead of the typical daily showers and thunderstorms that pop up in the afternoon."

The heaviest rain should bypass Kuala Lumpur, but Sagliani added that the city could still possibly receive enhanced rainfall on Sunday as the low passes by to the north.

Greater impacts in the terms of flooding rain and damaging winds would target the Andaman Islands around Monday as the low strengthens.

Eastern India would then be faced with similar threats as the future cyclone arrives at midweek.

The latest projections point toward a landfall along coastal Andhra Pradesh; however, all residents of eastern India should closely monitor the progress of the developing cyclone. Until the low takes shape, its final destination is far from etched in stone.