Update as of 12 Nov 2009. 

Storms are known by different names in different parts of the globe. Closer to the Equatorial line they are commonly referred to as Tropical Storms. These are caused by hot humid air building up during the day, and then precipitating into thunderclouds to rain down in a sound, light and water show later in the afternoon. The summers in the United States – especially the Gulf of Mexico region, are famous for its hurricanes. These are low pressure swirls caused by the heat, and since they originate in the sea, they pick up a lot of moisture and as they move into hotter landmass, they drop all the water along the way. Low pressure areas usually create a “vacuum-like” situation which is also commonly called the eye of the storm, which “pull” in winds and everything else that it can pick-up along the way causing turbulent times along the paths approaching the storm eye, while the eye remains calm. Typhoons in Asia are very similar if not the same as hurricanes; while closer home in India, we sometimes use terms like cyclones – which are also exactly the same thing! Note that all these storms emanate in the sea and usually find their way onto the nearest landmass – sometimes islands or archipelagoes along the way bear the brunt. So rough seas, heavy rain, squally winds and general apathy follow. Met offices try their best to warn populace along the storm’s path, but no-one can gauge the fury or even desist it, so preparedness may help, to an extent. Unfortunately for India, our warning systems are woefully inadequate and at times quite erroneous and so we do face disasters when they hit us!

The turbulent weather predicted by some may have dissipated and left much of the Western Coast clear, but D Street got taken in quite gullibly. This morning, when the clouds cleared, the D Boyz thought it would be a fine day, so started out on a positive note, but somewhere in their minds lurked images of rising waves, capsizing boats, rescue missions going awry (all thanks to the amateurish TV News Channels playing jerky videos from their trysts at some beach) – so they lost control of their SENSEX, and went tospy turvy for most of the day. Even the clear blue skies and the good IIP numbers could not convince them to stabilize. They behaved like TV anchors on boats on rough seas and kept losing balance all through – till they were actually rescued by the Closing Bell some 150 points away from the D Street – so the SENSEX slipped down to 16696.

In the buildup to the Bengali New Year, storms usually lash onto Kolkata and other ports on the Hooghly every evening. They are like tropical storms except that this is closer to the Tropic of Cancer than the Equator and I suspect that is where it got its name from – the Nor(th)Wester(n)…… !! Northwest to the Bay of Bengal – and the equator. Any of you ever experienced this storm; please share more insights with me at Norwester.


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