The laggard depression in the Bay of Bengal practically stalled on its tracks on Friday and bided time to hit home stretch towards Tamil Nadu coast.
India Met Department appeared to have withdrawn its watch for its further intensification, which would have taken the system within striking distance of being called a cyclone.
The Met located the system centred about 530 km south-east of Chennai and 420 km east-southeast of Nagapattinam on Friday afternoon.
It is now expected to move west-northwest and cross north Tamil Nadu coast near Nagapattinam by Saturday evening.
Some international weather models took the system towards south-west eying the south Tamil Nadu and adjoining Sri Lanka coast instead.
Meanwhile, the depression will bring heavy to very heavy rainfall along coastal Tamil Nadu and rough seas.
Friday will have already seen heavy to very heavy rainfall over north coastal Tamil Nadu.
On Saturday, heavy to very heavy rainfall with isolated extremely heavy falls of 25 cm or above may lash north coastal Tamil Nadu and south coastal Andhra Pradesh.
Heavy to very heavy rainfall has been forecast over south coastal Tamil Nadu. A heavy to very heavy rainfall watch is also valid at a few places over Rayalaseema and isolated heavy over Kerala.
On Sunday, the heavy to very heavy rainfall belt will sit over south coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema and north coastal Tamil Nadu. It will be isolated heavy over Kerala.
Meanwhile, a fresh low-pressure area would emerge over south Andaman Sea and adjoining south-east Bay of Bengal by Sunday.
As in the preceding cases (very severe cyclone Phailin and the current depression), this too will originate as a ‘storm pulse’ from west Pacific/South China Sea.
On Friday, tropical depression 32W in the South China Sea (locally named ‘Podul’) had washed over the Vietnam coast and broken up on impacting land.
Its remnants of were expected to float into the Gulf of Thailand, a potent core of which will cross over into the Andaman Sea to set up the ‘low’.
Early forecasts suggest this comparatively weak but fleet-footed system will negotiate the Bay in quick time and wash over the Tamil Nadu coast by mid-week next week.