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Weather update: First of storm-twins brews as Sri Lanka braces for heavy rain

VINSON KURIAN THIRUVANANTHAPURAM | Updated on January 09, 2018

The first of the twin storms, long in the making, is materialising over the South-West Bay of Bengal, with a prevailing low-pressure area becoming 'more marked' this morning.

The other storm, a depression in the making over the South Andaman Sea, is still a work in progress, building from a preparatory trough lying over the Malay Peninsula.

OUTER BANDS OVER LANKA

In an update this morning, the India Met Department (IMD) located the well-marked 'low' over the South-West Bay and the adjoining Equatorial Indian Ocean and Sri Lanka.

This means that its outer bands are already impacting the south-eastern coast of Sri Lanka, and, according to the US Joint Typhoon Warning centre, may undergo further intensification.

The US agency located the core of the system lying 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 puts it in the direction of the island of Sri Lanka.

It features winds speeding up to 51 km/hr that would 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 to 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, but which has since spun away to Indonesia and beyond.

Satellite pictures this morning show rain-bearing clouds sitting 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 the 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 two days later.

Published on November 29, 2017

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