Cyclone Agni

Cyclone Agni

Cyclone Agni (also referred to as Tropical Cyclone 05A) was a tropical cyclone of the 2004 North Indian Ocean cyclone season. It was notable for its record proximity to the equator. It was the second North Indian Ocean cyclone to receive a name, after Onil earlier in the year.

Meteorological history

On November 19 2004, an area of convection developed and persisted about 500 miles east-southeast of Colombo. Under an area of moderate vertical shear, it moved west-southwestward and slowly organized. It nearly dissipated on the 24th, but redeveloped on the 26th under an area of favorable upper level winds and good diffluence aloft. On November 27, it became Tropical Depression 5A, and after moving to the west-southwest, became Tropical Storm Agni on the 28th only 50 miles (80km) from the equator. In its developmental stages, its circulation crossed the equator briefly into the southern hemisphere, while retaining its counter-clockwise spin. Under unusually favorable conditions so close to the equator, Agni strengthened and turned to the northwest. The convection concentrated, and quickly became a cyclone on November 29. A pinhole eye briefly developed, but dry air and vertical wind shear weakened Agni back to a tropical storm. The effects were temporary, and Agni re-attained cyclone status on the 30th. Its minimum pressure was 976 mbar. On December 1, the shear and dry air returned, and Agni again weakened back to a tropical storm. After moving to the northwest for much of its lifetime, the storm turned to the west towards northeastern Africa, under the influence of the subtropical ridge to its north. Late on December 3, the storm weakened to a tropical depression, and made landfall on eastern Somalia on the 4th. It turned to the south, and dissipated after reaching the Arabian Sea on December 5.


When Tropical Storm Agni reached a position of 50 miles (80km) north of the equator , it became the nearest a tropical cyclone has ever approached to the equator (only 0.7° N), less than half of Typhoon Vamei's previous record distance of 103 miles. However, because Agni formed more to the north and tracked southwestward, Vamei retains the record for the southernmost formation.

Impact in Somalia

Because the storm was weak and the convection disorganized when it hit Somalia, no damage or deaths were reported from the storm.


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