Will Cyclone Nilam intensify another round?

Vinson Kurian
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Bay of Bengal threw up Tropical Cyclone ‘Nilam’ in the southwest basin on Tuesday as ‘Sandy’ the ‘Frankenstorm’ and Typhoon Son-Tinh in South China Sea slammed ashore the US East Coast and Vietnam-China.

Cyclone ‘Nilam' is stationed 500 km south-southeast of Chennai and has enough time and travel left over seawaters to undergo another round of intensification.

There is now emerging consensus that the cyclone may head more north-northwest than earlier predicted to take it towards Nagapattinam-Chennai belt for a landfall.

IMD predictions

This has been the consistent position taken by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) too, though the odd forecasts still favour northeast Sri Lanka and adjoining southeast Tamil Nadu coast for a landfall area.

An IMD update said that the deep depression over southwest Bay of Bengal remained practically stationary on Tuesday and intensified into a cyclonic storm.

But it said the cyclone would move northwestwards and cross north Tamil Nadu and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coast between Cuddalore and Nellore near Chennai by tomorrow (October 31) evening.

Heavy rainfall likely

Heavy to very heavy rainfall has been forecast with extremely heavy falls (25 cm or more) at one or two places over north coastal Tamil Nadu and south coastal Andhra Pradesh during the next two days.

Heavy to very heavy rainfall would occur at a few places over rest of Tamil Nadu and Rayalaseema. Heavy to very heavy rainfall may occur over Kerala, north coastal Andhra Pradesh and south interior Karnataka.

Squally winds speed reaching 45 to 55 km/hr and gusting to 65 km/hr has been warned of along and off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coasts during the next 12 hours.

The wind speed would gradually increase thereafter as the system comes closer to coast. Sea conditions will be very rough to high along and off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coasts during the next two days.

Fishermen along north Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coasts have been advised not to venture into the sea.

(This article was published on October 30, 2012)
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