Cyclone season is off to a roaring start in the Indian Ocean, as rapidly intensifying Tauktae marks the region's first named storm of the year.
Tauktae will continue to strengthen as it tracks through the Arabian Sea, impacting more than 100 million people along 1,300 km of the coastline. This will be the first cyclone to parallel the western shore of India since 1965, when two cyclones hitting the country resulted in 47,000 deaths.
Cyclone Tauktae will track slightly offshore for the next 24 hours, allowing for further strengthening as it targets the state of Gujarat for landfall on Monday. The storm is expected to produce 200-300 mm of rain along the coast, with impacts anticipated to be worsened by the Western Ghats mountains.
Coastal wind gusts exceeding 100 km/h are still expected around Mumbai, while Monday's landfall will yield gusts of more than 200 km/h along the less-inhabited peninsula.
Although weakening will occur once Tauktae moves ashore, heavy rain will move across northern India through the week, eventually running into the Himalayas. This will impact another 250 million people in the process.
Cyclone season in the Indian Ocean will continue through December.