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Weather update: Depression forms off Sri Lanka, Kanyakumari; to intensify further

VINSON KURIAN THIRUVANANTHAPURAM | Updated on January 09, 2018

A monsoon depression had formed near Sri Lanka at 8.30 am, the latest update by the India Met Department (IMD) has confirmed.

The depression is currently located 500 km south-south-east of Kanyakumari and is expected to travel in a west-north-westerly direction to cross the Sri Lanka coast by noon today.

This is later expected to intensify into a deep depression, which is next only to a tropical cyclone in terms of strength and intensity. It could graze the peninsular tip (Nagercoil-Kanyakumari-South Kerala).

This comes even as another anticipated storm, also a depression in the making over the South Andaman Sea, is building from a preparatory trough over the Malay Peninsula.

OUTER BANDS OVER LANKA

In an update earlier this morning, the IMD had located the well-marked 'low' to over South-West Bay and adjoining Equatorial Indian Ocean and Sri Lanka.

This means that its outer bands were already impacting the south-eastern coast of Sri Lanka. The US Joint Typhoon Warning centre has put it on notice for further intensification.

The US agency had located the core of the system out at sea 224 km east-southeast of Sri Lanka, which gives it enough scope for further intensification into a likely depression.

During this phase, it would move further west-north-west over the next two days, which would put it in the direction of the island of Sri Lanka.

It had featured winds speeding up 51 km/hr, which could cross southern Sri Lanka and the capital Colombo, and emerge in the Lakshadweep Sea and adjoining South-East Arabian Sea, near India's peninsular tip.

DELAYED BY 'CEMPAKA'

Wind-field projections by the IMD too suggest intensification of the well-marked 'low' very near the tip of peninsular India and its movement away, likely grazing the adjoining Kerala coast.

This sequence of events should have unfolded three to four days ago but was delayed by tropical storm Cempaka raging to the South, which has since spun away to Indonesia and beyond.

Satellite pictures this morning show rain-bearing clouds over Hambantota, Matara, Panama and Monaragala over South and South-East Sri Lanka.

A huge parcel of cloud waits out to the south-west of Sri Lanka, covering a good part of the Lakshadweep Sea and adjoining Equatorial Indian Ocean.

Meanwhile, clouding from the trough over the Malay Peninsula is now centred over Phuket and Surat Thani in southern Thailand, and just reaching out into the South Andaman Sea.

The IMD forecast said the clouding would concentrate as a low-pressure area over the South Andaman Sea later today or tomorrow, and intensify as a depression in two days.

Published on November 29, 2017

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