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Cyclone Akash Strikes Bangladesh with Heavy Rains and High Winds
Just two days after forming in the Bay of Bengal, tropical cyclone Akash made landfall near Chittagong, Bangladesh, late Mon., May 14, bringing heavy rain squalls and gusty winds. Media reports indicate some of the country's coastal areas were evacuated in advance of the storm, while about 20 merchant ships were stranded after operations were suspended following the storm warning.

At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Mon., May 14 (0300 UTC Tues., May 15) tropical cyclone Akash was located near 23.0 degrees north latitude and 92.6 degrees east longitude, or about 35 miles east-northeast of Chittagong, Bangladesh. Storm movement was toward the north-northeast at 10 knots (12 mph), with maximum sustained winds were near 50 knots (58 mph), and gusts to 65 knots (75 mph).

Recent satellite imagery shows the storm has weakened rapidly as it travels further inland, but areas of intense showers and thunderstorms continue to plague some areas, especially on the cyclone's northeast side.

Cyclone Akash as seen by TRMM
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This image of tropical cyclone Akash was taken by the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite at 12:18 a.m. EDT (0418 UTC) on Sun., May 13, as the cyclone was gaining strength over the Bay of Bengal. It shows a top-down-view of rain intensity. Estimated rain rates of 25 to 40 millimeters (0.98 inches to 1.57 inches) per hour were common, especially west of the storm center. TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japanese space agency JAXA. Storm summary: Mike Bettwy, RSIS/Goddard Space Flight Center Image credit: NASA/TRMM project

Mike Bettwy
Goddard Space Flight Center