What is a landfall? Know about cyclone Nisarga, its impact on Maharashtra

High tide at Dwarka Gomti Ghat ahead of cyclone 'Nisarga' landfall. Photo: ANI
Cyclone Nisarga has made landfall near Alibaug on the Maharashtra coast and the "process" will be completed by about 4 pm, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Wednesday.

The landfall process started around 12.30 pm.

It made landfall about 40 km from Alibaug, 95 km from Mumbai.

What is landfall?

According to the US National Hurricane Center, landfall is “the intersection of the surface centre of a tropical cyclone with a coastline. Because the strongest winds in a tropical cyclone are not located precisely at the centre, a cyclone's strongest winds can be experienced over land even if landfall does not occur. Similarly, a tropical cyclone can make landfall and have its strongest winds remain over the water. A landfall, in simple words, is the storm moving over the land, after its intensification in the ocean (heat source). Therefore, a tropical cyclone is said to make landfall when the centre of the storm (eye) moves across the coast. 

The landfall usually brings with it high-speed winds, severe storm surge and torrential downpour, which can have a severe impact on the region.

Impact of the Nisarga Landfall

In case of the current cyclone, the impact of the landfall is visible in the form of extremely heavy rainfall in some areas of coastal Maharashtra on Wednesday. Goa, coastal Karnataka and adjoining districts are also witnessing heavy rainfall.

However, the Cyclone Nisarga is not as powerful as the previous one, Super Cyclone Amphan, which reached a whopping intensity of 240 kmph and caused extensive damage in West Bengal and Odisha.
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