Very severe cyclonic storm Lehar has undergone rapid weakening and will now cross coast on Thursday as a conventional cyclone. Lehar seems to have tripped on cooler waters and also witnessed all-round deterioration in the enabling environment since Tuesday.
It was centred over west-central and adjoining south Bay of Bengal about 520 km east-south-east of Machillipatnam and 470 km south-east of Kakinada on Wednesday.
It would move west-northwestwards, weaken gradually, and cross Andhra Pradesh coast near Machillipatnam on Thursday afternoon. Along with winds, other parameters associated with landfall are also being correspondingly revised lower in terms of intensity than were forecast initially.
Rainfall will have commenced from Wednesday evening over coastal Andhra Pradesh and Yanam district of Puducherry.
Heavy to very heavy falls are likely at a few places with isolated extremely heavy falls over coastal Andhra Pradesh and Yanam district on Friday.
Most places in Telangana too will witness rainfall with isolated heavy to very heavy at a few places on Saturday. Squally winds reaching speeds of 45-55 km/hr gusting to 65 km/hr will have commenced along and off Andhra Pradesh from Wednesday evening.
At the time of landfall, these will scale up in intensity with gale wind speed reaching 80 to 90 km/hr gusting to 100 km/hr off Guntur; Krishna; west and east Godavari; Vishakhapatnam; and Yanam.
State of sea along and off Andhra Pradesh coast will be ‘rough’ to ‘very rough’ from Wednesday evening and become ‘very high’ on Friday.
Storm surge of height about one to two metres will flood low lying areas of west and east Godavari, Guntur, Krishna and Yanam districts.