With the low-pressure area likely to intensify into a depression in the next 24 hours, and thereafter into Cyclone Fani, the Indian Meterological Department (IMD) on Thursday issued a red alert for coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry on April 30 (Tuesday) and May 1 (Wednesday). A ‘red’ alert is the highest alert for heavy rainfall warning.
“It is very likely to intensify into a depression during the next 24 hours over East Equatorial Indian Ocean and adjoining central parts of south Bay of Bengal and into a Cyclonic Storm during subsequent 24 hours over southwest Bay of Bengal and adjoining Equatorial Indian Ocean,” reads a bulletin issued by IMD on Thursday.
The IMD bulletin goes on to state that Cyclone Fani is likely to move northwestwards along and off the east coast of Sri Lanka near north Tamil Nadu coast on April 30. Rainfall is likely to begin from April 28 and intensify over the next few days. IMD has predicted rainfall in most places in the state with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places and extremely heavy rainfall at isolated places.
The wind speeds on April 29 are expected to be around 90-100 kmph gusting to 115 kmph over Southwest Bay of Bengal, along and off Sri Lanka coast and off Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coast on April 29. The next day, on April 30, the wind speeds will touch 115 kmph along north Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh.
The bulletin has also warned fishermen from entering the seas beginning April 25. According to IMD, very heavy rainfall is likely in Pudukottai, Thanjavur, Karaikal and Nagapattinam districts on April 29.
Addressing the press on Thursday, Deputy Director General of Meteorology, Regional Meteorological Centre, Chennai S Balachandran said further details on the cyclone landing will be predicted in the coming days, only after the low pressure belt intensifies into a depression.
According to Skymet Weather, the low pressure over Bay of Bengal shows signs of intensifying into depression in the next 24 hours. It also stated that by April 28, the system is expected to strengthen into a tropical cyclonic storm, which will be called cyclone Fani, a name given by Bangladesh. Since the system is also expected to course through a long route over the ocean, it is expected to load up on moisture and bring copious amount of rainfall to Tamil Nadu including Chennai.
Popular weather blogger Pradeep John wrote on his Facebook page that another day’s observation is required to predict the cyclone’s landfall which is likely to bring heavy rainfall to the areas in which it does. “One more day needed to accurately say this is going to be for Tami Nadu. It is as of 60% favorable to Tamil Nadu,” he wrote.
As for Chennai, the sky condition is likely to be partly cloudy for the next two days. Maximum and minimum temperatures are likely to be around 36 and 28 degree Celsius respectively.