Cyclone Nisarga is not the 1st Cyclone for Mumbai, lets see the 1940 & 1948 Cyclones


Mumbai Cyclones are very very rare, very rarely we see cyclone making landfall as Cyclonic Storm in Kerala or Karnataka or Maharashtra. We can note down them and even memorize them. Many news channels are reporting that Cyclone Nisarga is going to be the 1st Cyclone to cross near Mumbai. Have gone through the archives and found that two significant cyclones (1940 & 1948) that crossed near / over Mumbai.

1882 Mumbai cyclone is proved by IMD as hoax and no such cyclone has crossed Mumbai – Some may say that 1882 there was a massive cyclone which crossed Mumbai which is proven to be a hoax and not true.

1. 1940 Bombay Cyclone – Was the first cyclone to cross Bombay

Period October 12-16, 1940. The cyclone crossed right over Mumbai is the strongest cyclone Mumbai has faced till 1948 cyclone came. The maximum sustained winds (MSW) was 97 km/hr  (60 miles/hr)  while the gusts was 121 km/hr  (75 miles/hr)  over Colaba station. This was the 1st cyclone to cross Mumbai as a severe cyclone in recorded history.  Colaba recorded 76 mm rainfall on October 16, 1940.

  • Colaba –  Maximum Sustained winds – 97 km/hr,  Gusts – 121 km/hr

Source: NOAA

2. 1948 Bombay Cyclone – Will continue to remain the strongest cyclone Mumbai has ever seen, even after Nisarga Cyclone

The 2nd cyclone Bombay saw was in 1948, just 8 years after the 1st one. It crossed 45 miles of Mumbai but the winds were felt more severe over Bombay with Juhu getting gusts of 151 km/hr and Colaba had gusts of 129 km/hr. The winds and damage were more than the 1940 Bombay Cyclone. Colaba recorded 101 mm rainfall on November 22, 1948. 47 people manning the SS Dipavathi drowned in the sea. Bombay came to standstill for 2 days.

  • Alibag – Gusts 160 km/hr
  • Juhu – Gusts 151 km/hr
  • Colaba –  Maximum Sustained winds – 93 km/hr,  Gusts – 129 km/hr

Dahanu got 257 mm  Lonvala 254 mm, Devgad 241 mm on 22.11.1948 while Matheran got 221 mm and Vade 231 mm on 23.11.1948.

Source: NOAA

Source: Indian Express

3. Cyclone Nisarga (2020) – What to expect in Mumbai and nearby areas ?

1.. Crossing Area – Close to Alibag just south of Mumbai

2. Time of crossing on 03.06.2020 – between 10.30 am to 3.30 pm, looking at the speed it is moving now, it might even start to cross coast little early too (Note First winds will be from North – North east and then calm period when eye passes over, then comes the winds from other half from South-south east – So when there is calm dont think cyclone has crossed and come out, wait for other half to cross from south-south east, this is when most damages happen because most trees will be weakened in 1st half and gets uprooted when winds blow from opposite side, like pulling a nail through hammer. People has to stay indoors till they witness winds from both sides

3. Maximum Sustained Wind (MSW) speed (3 min average) – 90 to 100 km/hr.

4. Gusts – 110-120 km/hr – winds that can blow at times in short period.

5. Rains in Mumbai, Alibag and Ratnagiri areas will be 100-200 mm range in short period. While in ghats where winds get trapped will get 200-300 mm rainfall in short time. Eyewall is expected to fall over Mumbai too, so intense rains will happen when eyewall clouds falls over the city.

6. Storm Surge – 1-2 mts surge is expected off Maharashtra coast around Alibag area. People should avoid going near the sea shore and those who are in the low lying areas should move up.

7. Towns in path Mumbai, Alibag, Thane, Igtauri, Nashik and Malegon,

8. Office goers in Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai can take a day off tomorrow.

9. Will Nisarga beat the 1948 Cyclone gusts recorded in Bombay. No it will fall short of winds recorded in 1948 but has chance to be on par with 1940 Bombay Cyclone.

It will be just 3rd Cyclone Mumbai people would have witnessed in last 150 years. Stay safe and see off this once in life time experience.

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