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General Knowledge

Understanding Cyclones and Rain

Understanding Cyclones and Rain

I was wondering how the sky becomes cloudy and it rains heavily during Cyclones and thought of understanding the connection. May be there are many like me, who share the same doubts. This article is for them, to understand the Cyclones and their effects on our environment.

The Tauktae Cyclonic Storm, formed in the East Central Arabian Sea is creating moderate to heavy rains in various parts of India. It has started its effects causing damages and disturbances since 14th May.


A Cyclone is a system of winds rotating in the counterclockwise direction in the Northern Hemisphere around a low pressure centre. It can be the most intense storms on the earth. Clouds and Precipitation happens due to the swirling air which rises and cools. Cyclones are of two types – Mid-Latitude Cyclones and Tropical Cyclones.

Winter Storms are produced in the Middle Latitudes by the Mid-Latitude Cyclones. Mid-Latitude Cyclones are called as Extratropical Cyclones in some cases. They are formed at the polar regions when the temperature difference between two masses of air becomes very large.

Tropical Cyclones are called also as Hurricanes. They have many names. In the North Atlantic and Eastern Pacific Oceans, Tropical Cyclones are called as Hurricanes. They are called as Typhoons in the Western Pacific Ocean and Tropical Cyclones in the Indian Ocean. Willi-Willi’s is the name in the waters near Australia. They have the most damaging effects of all the storms on the earth.

There is Anticyclone as well which is opposite to a Cyclone. The winds rotate clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere around a centre of high pressure during an Anticyclone. Air sinks to the ground from above.

Rains during Cyclones

During Cyclones, the air converges into a low pressure center which causes the air to rise. The rising motion may produce clouds and precipitation. Different precipitation types include rain and thunderstorms in the summer and fall seasons, to rain, thunderstorms, and even snow during the winter.

As Global warming gathers pace, intense cyclones from the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea are making landfall with greater frequency every year.

I am staying at a place called Thrissur in Kerala which is about 25 to 30 kilometers from the sea. It is raining heavily and continuously for the last three days in Thrissur due to the current Tauktae Cyclone. Tauktae was centered over East Central Arabian Sea near Latitude 14.2N and Longitude 72.7E on Saturday night which is considerably far from Thrissur. Even then, the amount of rainfall that we have received is considerable. So imagine its effects in the area near to the centre point of the Cyclone.

Read more about Cyclones here

Picture used for illustration only – Credit: PTI

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Born and brought up in Kerala, I did my schooling in Kerala and graduated (B.Sc Physics) from the Calicut University. I have worked with a Swedish Company from 1994 to 2015, as a Senior Project Manager in their Group IT Division in Dubai. This blog is the result of my strong desire to communicate with others, sharing what I know and what I could gather from various sources.


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