Cyclone brewing in Bay likely to target Chennai next week
The India Met Department (IMD) has elevated the outlook for a fresh low-pressure area over the Andaman Sea from a monsoon depression to that of a tropical cyclone.
It has warned of ‘very rough to high seas’ (waves rising to heights of 13 to 30 ft) over the South-West Bay of Bengal off the Tamil Nadu coast between November 14 and 16, giving an early indication where the cyclone could be headed.
Heavy rain for TN/AP
North Tamil Nadu and South Coastal Andhra Pradesh could receive heavy to very heavy rainfall during this period.
The causative low-pressure area over the Gulf of Thailand and the Malay Peninsula on Thursday morning crossed over into the central parts of the Andaman Sea (South-East Bay of Bengal).
It is expected to become a monsoon depression latest by Friday. The Myanmar Department of Meteorology and Hydrology, which is the closest monitoring station as of today, said the intensification may take place over the next two days.
The IMD expects the system to move west-north-west from its current bearing, concentrate into a depression by Friday, and later into a cyclonic storm.
This would take it to Chennai and neighbourhood (mostly the immediate south of the metropolis) around November 14 (Wednesday).
The cyclone is being generated at a time when the entire Tamil Nadu is waiting for the first fulsome rainfall session after the North-East monsoon arrived 15 days late.
Till now, only the southern parts of the State have recorded some meaningful rain thanks to the odd cyclonic circulation or lately a well-marked ‘low’ that has since dissipated.
The northern parts of the coast (including Chennai) would have been best served with a conventional ‘low,’ given its potential to stay for longer than a cyclone and produce sustained rain.
A cyclone is a much stronger system, which, apart from the obvious collateral damage it can inflict on property and livelihoods, would rain it down heavy along an identified track, and not much beyond.
Still in deficit
In IMD parlance, the season thus far (October 1 to November 9) has delivered ‘normal’ rain to the Met subdivision of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. But it has a deficit of 19 per cent in absolute terms.
It is on the verge of being declared a ‘deficient’ subdivision if the deficit grows anything beyond. Neighbouring Kerala is better off with a deficit of only eight per cent.