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Today’s Weather: Pre-cyclone watch for South Tamil Nadu, South Kerala

Vinson Kurian Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on November 30, 2020 Published on November 30, 2020

Clouds converge around a depression in full bloom to the East of Sri Lanka on Monday evening. India Meteorological Department expects it to intensify into a cyclone and hit the East Coast of Sri Lanka by Wednesday evening.   -  The Weather Company

Eyes Batticaloa-Mullativ in Sri Lanka and Kanniyakumari

Sunday’s low-pressure area over South-East Bay of Bengal and neighbourhood underwent intensification twice over to become ‘well-marked’ and later a depression, located on Monday afternoon to 680 km East-South-East of Trincomalee (Sri Lanka) and 1,090 km East of Kanniyakumari (extreme South Tamil Nadu). It is expected to intensify further into a deep depression by early Tuesday and into a cyclone by Wednesday, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Monday.

This is the third cyclone during this North-East monsoon season after very severe cyclones ‘Gati’ in the Arabian Sea and ‘Nivar’ in the Bay of Bengal. The latter barreled into the Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts near Puducherry only a few days ago. The IMD expects the latest cyclone to travel nearly westwards and hit the Sri Lanka coast by evening/night of Wednesday.

Third North-East monsoon cyclone

The prospective cyclone may not hit the South-East coast of Tamil Nadu as earlier thought since it would have required the storm to move along a West-North-West track to graze the extreme northern region of Jaffna in Sri Lanka before crossing the Palk Strait and hit South-East Tamil Nadu. Instead, it is tipped to take a more southerly course (westward and straight into Central and adjoining North Sri Lanka) and later into Kanniyakumari.

The Sri Lanka Department of Meteorology said that the low-pressure area in the South-East Bay has concentrated into a depression, which may intensify as deep depression and further into a cyclone by Tuesday afternoon. This system is very likely to move west-north-westwards (relative to the topography of the island) and cross East Coast of Sri Lanka between Batticaloa and Mullativ around Wednesday evening.

Fishermen called back home

Meanwhile, the IMD advised all fishermen out at sea to return to the coast by Monday itself. It advised total suspension of fishing operation from Monday to Friday over the sea area over (i) South-East Bay on Monday and Tuesday (ii) over South-West Bay and along and off the East Sri Lanka coast from Tuesday to Thursday (iii) over the Comorin Area, the Gulf of Mannar, and the South Tamil Nadu-Kerala coasts from Wednesday to Friday, and (iv) over the Lakshadweep-Maldives area and adjoining South-East Arabian Sea from Thursday and Friday.

The nearly westward track as indicated by the IMD aligns that of the impending cyclone closer to the one made infamous by the very severe cyclone Ockhi that ravaged parts of Kerala, Lakshadweep and the West Coast in 2017. The only exception is that the latest one would not re-recurve to the North-North-East as Ockhi did, but head out straight into the open waters of the South and South-West Arabian Sea, away from India’s West Coast.

Very heavy rain warning

The IMD has forecast heavy to very heavy rainfall with isolated extremely heavy falls over the South Tamil Nadu coast (Kanniyakumari, Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, Tenkasi, Ramanathapuram and Sivagangai districts) on Wednesday and Thursday; over South Kerala (Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha) districts on Thursday; and isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall over South Tamil Nadu on Tuesday and Friday; and over South Kerala on Wednesday and Friday.

Heavy to very heavy rainfall is also likely over North Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Mahe, Karaikal and North Kerala on Wednesday and Thursday while it would be isolated heavy on Tuesday and Friday. Heavy rainfall may occur over South Coastal Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday and Thursday; and over Lakshadweep o Thursday and Friday.

High winds, rough seas warned

Squally winds with speed reaching 45-55 km/hr and gusting to 65 km/hr on Monday may gradually increase to 55-65 km/hr gusting to 75 km/hr over the South-East and adjoining South-West Bay from Monday night. The wind speed would gradually increase to gale-force strength reaching 70-80 km/hr gusting to 90 km/hr over South-West Bay of Bengal and along and off the Sri Lanka coast from Wednesday morning until the next day.

Squally winds with a speed of 45-55 km/hr gusting to 65 km/hr may prevail over the Comorin Area, the Gulf of Mannar and South Tamil Nadu-Kerala coasts from Wednesday forenoon. The wind speed will gradually increase to 55-65 km/hr gusting to 75 km/hr over the Gulf of Mannar; along and off the South Tamil Nadu and Kerala coasts; over the Comorin area; the Lakshadweep-Maldives area and the adjoining South-East Arabian Sea from Thursday morning for subsequent two days.

The sea condition will be ‘rough to very rough’ (wave heights of 8-20 ft) over the South-East Bay on Tuesday; ‘very rough to high’ (13-30 ft) over the South-West and adjoining South-East Bay and along and off the East Sri Lanka coast on Tuesday and Wednesday; and ‘rough to very rough’ over the Comorin area, the Gulf of Mannar and along and off the South Tamil Nadu-Kerala coasts from Wednesday to Friday. The sea condition will be ‘rough to very rough’ over the Lakshadweep-Maldives area and adjoining South-East Arabian Sea on Thursday and Friday.

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Published on November 30, 2020
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