India Met Department (IMD) has elevated the outlook for the fresh low-pressure area over the Andaman Sea from a monsoon depression to that of a tropical cyclone.
The causative low-pressure area over over the Gulf of Thailand and Malay Peninsula has crossed over this morning into the central parts of the Andaman Sea (South-East Bay of Bengal).
It is expected to become a monsoon depression latest by tomorrow, the IMD said. The Myanmar Department of Meteorology and Hydrology, which is the closest monitoring station as of today, said the intensification may take place over the next two days.
It also located cloudiness over the North Bay and Central Bay while it was partly cloudy to cloudy over the Andaman Sea and elsewhere in the Bay.
The IMD expects the system move west-northwestwards from its current bearing, concentrate into a depression by tomorrow and later into a cyclonic storm.
Though it has not said anything in its bulletin about the much-anticipated track of movement of the cyclone, its wind-field projections suggest a mostly westward track across the Bay.
This would take it to Chennai and neighbourhood (mostly the immediate South of the metropolis) around November 14 (Wednesday next).
The cyclone is being generated at a time when the entire Tamil Nadu is waiting for the first fulsome rainfall session after the North-East monsoon arrived 15 days late.
Till now, only the southern parts of the state have recorded some meaningful rain thanks to the odd cyclonic circulation or lately a well-marked ‘low’ that has since dissipated.
The northern parts of the coast (including Chennai) would have been best served with a conventional ‘low,’ given its potential to stay for longer than a cyclone and produce sustained rain.
A cyclone is a much stronger system, which, apart from the obvious collateral damage it can inflict on property and livelihoods, would rain it down heavy along an identified track, and not much beyond.
In IMD parlance, the season thus far (October 1 to November 9) has delivered ‘normal’ rain to the Met subdivision of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. But it has a deficit of 19 per cent in absolute terms.
It is on the verge of being declared a ‘deficient’ subdivision if the deficit grows anything beyond. Neighbouring Kerala is better off with a deficit of only six per cent.