Met Man says no confusion over ‘deep depression’

Confusion over terminology featured prominently in the aftermath of Wednesday’s bad weather. Meteorology Department Director General, S. Premalal insisted that the Met Department credibility was not at stake and that they had given ample warning on the ‘deep depression over the Bay of Bengal’.

The public however was waiting for a warning of a tropical storm. Premalal stressed that the Department had monitored the situation closely since November 28, and issued continuous warnings.

“On November 28, there was an indication of atmospheric disturbances in the Bay of Bengal, but there was no indication of a depression, low or otherwise. This was in the South Eastern Coast. Then on 29th morning it became a low pressure area. By this morning (30), it has moved away from us, and become a deep depression. Last night (29) it turned from low depression to deep depression”, he told at a media briefing held at the Disaster Management Ministry yesterday.

This was a ‘sudden development’, he said and added that a system which usually developed over a few days, in this instance developed exponentially within 24 hours.

The first advisory on heavy rains, stormy and rough seas was issued at 11am on November 28 by the Meteorology Department.

“We have continuously been updating on the weather. On Wednesday morning too we issued a warning and though it did not include thunder showers, we said strong winds up to 70-80km/hr in the sea and 60-70km/hr winds on land could occur,”Premalal said.

On Wednesday afternoon, a stakeholder meeting was called and a red warning issued by the Met Department. This was mostly delivered to fishermen and naval officers venturing out to sea,those most at risk. At 8pm on Wednesday, once again a red warning was issued noting that there would be very strong winds especially in southern and south western area.

Premalal further explained that it was wrong to interpret or categorise the deep depression as a tropical storm, “We have to stick to certain classifications. We have warned people. I cannot wrongly categorise things”, he said commenting on the Department denying earlier this week that a storm was coming as reported in the foreign media. 

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