The well-marked low-pressure area intensified into a depression as expected by Wednesday night over South-West Bay of Bengal and lay centred early onThursday morning about 170 km East-South-East of Chennai and 170 km East of Puducherry. India Meteorological Department (IMD) expects the system will likely cross coast around Chennai by the evening.
The IMD has been shifting the expected landfall point northward from Cuddalore and Puducherry to Chennai. It expects no further intensification of the system before landfall, which means it will likely make landfall as a depression only. But it is expected to bringsustained heavy to extremely heavy showers along the coast.
Rainfall warning for Thursday said that light to moderate rainfall is likely at most places over North Coastal Tamil Nadu with heavy to very heavy rainfall and extremely heavy rainfall at a few places. The same forecast applies also to isolated places over North Interior Tamil Nadu, South Coastal Andhra Pradesh and Rayalaseema, the IMD said.
Heavy to very heavy rainfall is forecast at isolated places over South Interior Karnataka. Squally winds with speed reaching 45-55 km/hr gusting to 65 km/hr may prevail over South-West and adjoining West-Central Bay of Bengal, the Gulf of Mannar and along and off the Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and South Andhra Pradesh coasts.
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Next system in offing
The IMD also reiterated that the rain threat may not recede once the current system blows over as it maintained an outlook for a fresh ‘low’ over the South Andaman Sea by Saturday. It is likely to move to the West-North-West and become more marked (intensify) during the subsequent two days, just as the current depression.
Short-to-medium outlook by the IMD takes the system for a landfall likely over North of Chennai and possibly across the Andhra Pradesh coast by November 17. But this needs to be watched for verification at the ground level, as also for strength and intensity of the system, as it navigates the long distance across South-West and West-Central Bay.
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Expected impact from landfall
Meanwhile, the IMD has warned of flooding of roads, inundation and water logging in low-lying areas and closure of underpasses as the depression bears down on the Chennai coast. Kutcha roads may suffer minor damage as is the case with vulnerable structures.
Localised landslides/mudslides are other likely impacts from the storm landfall. Squally winds and inundation may bring damage to horticulture and standing crops in some areas. The storm may also trigger riverine flooding in some catchments.
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