Cyclone 'Vardah' is expected to cross the Andhra Pradesh coast between Nellore and Kakinada around forenoon/noon on December 12 (Monday).

This gives more than three days for the administration to make adequate preparations to meet the exigencies associated with the event.

Long way off

Earlier this morning, India Met Department (IMD) had declared the formation of the third cyclone of this North-East monsoon season, after 'Kyant' and 'Nada'.

Cyclone ‘Vardah’ was located 240 km west-south-west of Port Blair in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands this morning. It is expected to reach peak strength of a severe cyclone.

It is long way still to India’s East Coast, its final destination, giving it ample time and space to pump up even more strength, and even lose some, in the process.

May weaken a bit

‘Vardah’ may weaken slightly just before landfall due to unfavourable environment closer to the coast (as in cooler waters and increasing ‘shear’ of wind at the higher levels of the atmosphere).

The transformation of from yesterday's depression into cyclone took place at ‘blinding speed’ since and over a distance of less than 100 km that it had covered from yesterday to early this morning.

The depression had remained practically silent during the course of the day yesterday and had revved back to activity towards midnight last night.

Cyclone status

Within the space of a few hours into the small hours into this morning, it was able to spin up the power required to claim cyclone status.

IMD located ‘Vardah’ over South-East Bay of Bengal 1,060 km to the south-east of Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh); 1,150 km east-south-east of Machilipatnam (Andhra Pradesh); 340 km to the north-west of Car Bicobar (Nicobar Island); and 240 km to west-south-west of Port Blair (Andaman Island).

Most global models had predicted that the cyclone may make a landfall over the Andhra Pradesh coast. The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts alone had suggested a different location – Chennai and neighbourhood.