Severe cyclone Michaung brought its marauding system centre within 100 km of the North Tamil Nadu coast on Monday, pummelling Chennai and the neighbourhood of the Tamil Nadu capital as well as parts of adjoining South Coastal Andhra Pradesh with some of the heaviest rain recorded so far during the North-East monsoon from Sunday. India Meteorological Department (IMD) has projected landfall of ‘Michaung’ near Bapatla on the South Andhra Pradesh coast during the forenoon of Tuesday. 

Landfall as severe cyclone

The IMD put the severe cyclone under watch for further intensification, saying it would weaken back to being a severe cyclone on landfall. It had raced in as close to the North Tamil Nadu coast to within 90 km to the North-East of Chennai by forenoon on Monday, which meant the eastern metropolis was out of harm’s way from a direct impact from a landfall which would have meant even more havoc, and as exactly predicted by the IMD. Around the same time, it was located 140 km South-East of Nellore; 200 km North-North-East of Puducherry, 270 km South of Bapatla; and 300 km South of Machilipatnam.

Crossing near Bapatla

Also on Monday, the IMD pointed to the location of the landfall as close to Bapatla between Nellore and Machilipatnam on the South Andhra Pradesh as a severe cyclone with maximum sustained wind speeds of 90-100 km/h gusting to 110 km/hr. This followed a day marked by continued soaking of the North Coastal Tamil Nadu and adjoining South Coastal Andhra Pradesh coasts with heavy to very heavy to extremely heavy rain amounting to more than 20 cm at many centres during the 24 hours ending on Monday morning. Some of the most affected (with rain amounts in cm) of them are as follows: 

Heavy rain recorded

Perungudi-29; Avadi-28; Alandur and Chennai airport-25 each; Adyar, Meenambakkam AWS, Meenambakkam, Chennai North, Puzhal ARG and Cholavaram-23 each; Mahabalipuram, MGR Nagar, Kodambakkam and CD Hospital Tondiarpet-22 each; Valasaravakkam, Sholinganallur, DGP Office NIOT-Pallikaranai ARG, Chennai North AWS, Anna University and Ponneri-21 each; Puzhal, Perambur, Ice House and Red Hills-20 each. Nellore in Coastal Andhra Pradesh recorded 19 cm, while Rayalaseema saw Sullurpeta had 20 cm and Tada, 19 cm, per IMD statistics. South Coastal Andhra Pradesh coast may be bracing for some extremely heavy to exceptionally heavy rain till Tuesday as ‘Michaung’ steams in for a landfall. It would also be heavy to extremely heavy over parts of Rayalaseema and Telangana. 

Short-term outlook

A short-to-medium outlook indicated that isolated to scattered light to moderate rainfall may continue over Peninsular India after the severe cyclone passes. Some global models indicate it could be slightly better organised and heavier over the South Peninsula (especially South Coastal Tamil Nadu and adjoining Kerala) during the rest of the last month of the year.