Agri Business

Wet Friday for Lakshadweep as Cyclone Ockhi powers up

Vinson Kurian Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on January 09, 2018 Published on November 30, 2017

Flexing muscles Fishermen trying to reign in boats that broke loose from the old harbour in Thoothukudi on Thursday after cyclone Ockhi caused strong winds and heavy rains in many parts of coastal Tamil Nadu   -  N Rajesh

Very heavy rains over Lakshadweep on Friday, says Met

Cyclone Ockhi threatens to lash Lakshadweep with high winds and dump heavy to very heavy rains for a second day on Friday as the storm prepares to hit the densely populated islands off the South-West coast of India.

Unlike conventional landfall along the coast, the ‘landfall’ over the islands may not weaken the system significantly. In fact, it is forecast to intensify a round to become a severe cyclone the same day.

‘Mere speed-breakers’

The small group of islands would make for no more than a speed-breaker for ‘Ockhi’ that is sure to gather enough moisture through convection from the large expanse of sea around.

Sea-surface temperatures are up to 30 deg Celsius, which make the Lakshadweep Sea and the adjoining South-East Arabian Sea among the warmest oceans in the tropics.

This superior warmth aides convection, which helps set up walls of thunderclouds around the core of the system, in turn providing the storm a muscle that rises kilometres into the atmosphere.

The India Met Department (IMD) has forecast heavy to very heavy rain at a few places over Lakshadweep on Friday with extremely heavy rain at isolated places.

Heavy rain has also been forecast for isolated places over interior Tamil Nadu and Kerala; some of these areas have huge rainfall deficiencies this season.

Gale winds warned

The Met has also warned of gale winds with speeds reaching 80-90 km/hour gusting to 100 km/hr on Friday over and around Lakshadweep. Squally winds with speeds of up to 65 km/hr and gusting to 75 km/hr are likely along and off the Kerala coast.

Sea conditions would be ‘rough’ to ‘high’ along and off South Kerala and ‘high’ around Lakshadweep. Fishermen on either coasts have been advised caution while venturing out into the sea.

Fresh ‘depression’ brewing

As for Saturday, heavy rain has been forecast for Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Lakshadweep islands. Simultaneously, the buzz around the Andaman & Nicobar islands is expected to start building around the same time.

Here, a persisting low-pressure area from neighbouring Malay Peninsula has moved in half into the South Andaman Sea where it is expected to become a full-fledged low-pressure area within the Indian territorial waters.

This is expected to become a depression, in consummation of a forecast last week of ‘twin storms’ developing in both the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal.

According to the IMD, the depression would track west-north-west in the Bay of Bengal and park itself off the Tamil Nadu and South Andhra Pradesh coasts by early next week (December 5, Tuesday).

Published on November 30, 2017

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