Cyclone Fani was the strongest tropical cyclone to have hit Odisha since cyclone Phailin in 2013. The storm's fearsome power was caught in action by a network of weather satellites in space that had a keen eye on the storm as it made its landfall on 3 May over the Eastern coast of India.
Fani was a Category 4 tropical cyclone (a.k.a a Category 4 hurricane), with wind speeds of over 200 kilometres per hour at its peak.
As Fani formed and graduated in its intensity, weather satellites like the American National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-20 (NOAA-20), the Japenese Himawari 8, NASA's Aqua satellite and the NOAA's Suomi NPP satellites were all pointed to the storm to observe its progression, Space.com >reported.
Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm #Fani, now a dangerous Cat. 4 storm on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, remains just off the coast of India in this imagery from #Himawari8. More imagery: https://t.co/Zz3zZvHSii pic.twitter.com/yh8ROw6xPG
" NOAA Satellites (@NOAASatellites) May 2, 2019
An oblique view image from Japanese #Himawari8 geostationary satellite today (5/3) early morning highlights an enhanced view of suspended dust over large part of Indian subcontinent, whereas cyclone #fani has extended its empire along eastern coast pic.twitter.com/uRo2dA6RZn
" Hiren Jethva (@hjethva05) May 3, 2019
" IS&T (@ImagingOrg) May 6, 2019
" Bioengineer.org (@bioengineerorg) May 4, 2019
Fani developed into a Cat 4 cyclone from a pocket of air that meteorologists have first located roughly a week before it escalated. This was enough time, according to the report, for the government to put together a plan of action, notify residents in Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and other states in the impact zone to evacuate. While there were 34 deaths attributed to cyclone Fani, these were considerably fewer than the 20,000 lives lost in the last catastrophic storm to hit the East coast 20 years ago.
Fani has now weakened considerably and will continue to lose intensity as it moves further Northeast and eventually loses momentum inland.