Do you picture the tropical seas as placid glassy surfaces? Not quite what we are seeing!
The current conditions in the Bay of Bengal are on the rougher side, for the tropics. (Although certainly not close to conditions during a cyclone or Southern Ocean storm or wintertime North Seas… and it’s still muggy hot!)
The Monsoon “waves” or oscillations appear in 10-14 day active periods where rain can be heavy, sky very cloudy, and winds intense. In between are somewhat longer periods called “break” periods where rain is much less, its sunny and hot, and winds can often be low.
Well, we certainly have been in an active period for last 3-4 days, and will remain active till about June 13-14th here in the Central Bay of Bengal! We are near 14°N, 88°E .
The winds have been consistently hovering around 30 knots (30 nautical miles per hour is about 54 km/h) with occasional wind gusts of 50 knots (90 km/h). The wave heights have been above 6 m almost all day today, touching 7 m. Those are some significant numbers – a 7m wave height is about a 21feet high wall of water.
The ship rides very well, and the scientists and the crew are in good spirits. Two days ago we saw a rain squall which lasted for maybe 20-30 minutes with a rain rate exceeding 140 mm/hour at the peak heavy rain! In other units = drenched in 5 seconds. This is all good news in terms of the scientific data we are collecting.