No ‘Fani’ business in Chennai as cyclonic storm heads for Odisha

Vinson Kurian THIRUVANANTHAPURAM | Updated on April 29, 2019

Will reach peak strength on Thursday morning and start weakening a day later

Cyclone ‘Fani’ had reached within 840 km East-South-East of Chennai by Monday noon but the Met Department has declared a cyclone watch for the Odisha coast, away to the North-North-East.

‘Fani’ was located at least 150 km farther to the South-South-East of Machilipatnam in Andhra Pradesh. It looked like it had bypassed Trincomalee in Sri Lanka already, though only 620 km to its West-South-West.

The cyclone resumed its journey after losing momentum briefly overnight on Monday morning, forcing weathermen to go back to the drawing board and plot a fresh track that would take it towards the Odisha coast later this week.

The India Met Department (IMD) has not indicated a landfall area just yet, but said that the storm would start recurving to the North-North-East from Wednesday, heading towards the Odisha coast.

Radar pictures showed signs of the cyclone developing an ‘eye’ feature at its centre indicating that it could be preparing to intensify to the next level as a severe cyclone, a process delayed by a day already.

Aircraft flying around

Survey of the neighbouring skies at around 6.30 pm on Monday showed aircraft flying long-distance over the South-East Bay of Bengal (just North-East of Sri Lanka), taking care to fly around the cyclone.

A Singapore-Bengaluru Singapore Airlines Cargo flight saw it safe to fly to the South of the cyclone. A Colombo-Guangzhou Sri Lankan Airlines flight took multiple turns and climbed up fast sufficiently high to more than 10 km after take-off.

Those navigating along the northern flanks of the system included Dubai-Kuala Lumpur and Dubai-Phuket, both Emirates.

Meanwhile, the cyclone is expected to undergo three rounds of intensification into a severe cyclone on Monday, and into a very severe cyclone by Tuesday. It is on course to become an extremely severe cyclone from Thursday morning.

‘Fani’ is expected to reach peak strength from Thursday morning to midnight, buffeted as it would be by winds reaching up to 180 km/hr and gusting to 195 kmph. It would start to weaken from Friday with wind speeds winding down to 170 km, gusting at 185 kmh until the same night, still retaining its extremely severe cyclone status.

Light to moderate rain is forecast at many places over Kerala with heavy falls at isolated places on Monday and Tuesday. Light to moderate rainfall is likely over North Coastal Tamil Nadu and South Coastal Andhra Pradesh,too.

On Thursday, light to moderate rainfall is forecast over North Coastal Andhra Pradesh and South Coastal Odisha. It may increase in intensity with heavy to very heavy rainfall over Coastal Odisha and adjoining North Coastal Andhra Pradesh from Friday.


Published on April 29, 2019

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