Squally winds (55-65 km/hr gusting to 75 km/hr) prevailing over Nagapattinam, Karaikal, Mayiladuthurai, Cuddalore, Puducherry, Villupuram and Chengalpattu districts speeds may escalate to become gale winds clocking 120-130 km/hr and gusting to 145 km/hr from this (Wednesday) afternoon to early Thursday morning as the severe cyclone ‘Nivar’ closes in for the landfall by midnight.
An India Meteorological Department (IMD) update also warned that wind speeds over Tiruvarur, Kanchipuram, Chennai and Tiruvallur districts could strengthen to 80-90 gusting to 100 km/hr from current levels during this period. A ‘red message’ has been issued in view of the approaching severe cyclone ‘Nivar’ that is expected to intensify into a very severe cyclone later into the evening.
IMD retains landfall coordinates
‘Red’ (take action) messages are issued when the extremely bad weather conditions are expected to disrupt travel and power and pose significant risk to life. ‘Nivar’ was lurking about 180 km East-South-East of Cuddalore and about 190 km East-South-East of Puducherry and 250 km South-South-East of Chennai by Wednesday the afternoon.
After intensifying as a very severe cyclone, it would move to North-West and cross the Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts between Karaikal and Mamallapuram around Puducherry during Wednesday midnight to early into Thursday as a very severe cyclone with wind speeds of 120-130 km/hr gusting to 145 km/hr, the IMD said, retaining its forecast outlook.
Very heavy rain recorded
Meanwhile, the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) pointed to the heavy bands of rain and thunderstorms preparing to wade into the Chennai, Mahabalipuram, Puducherry, Cuddalore, and Chidambaram belt by 3.30 pm on Wednesday.
Many parts of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry have already received heavy to very heavy rain during the 24 hours ending in the morning, and still pouring. Among significant rainfall amounts recorded (in cm) are: Chennai-16; Anna University (Chennai), Chennai Airport and Sholinganallur- 15 each; Taramani, DGP Office (Chennai) and MGR Nagar-14 each, Mahabalipuram, Alandur, Hindustan University, Puzhal, and Chembarambakkam-12 each; Tambaram and Ambathur-11 each; Perambur, Red Hills, Kolapakkam, and Poonamallee-10 each.
Even more rain forecast
An IMD outlook for today (Wednesday) indicated scattered heavy to very heavy rain with isolated extremely heavy rain over Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Cuddalore, Chennai, Kanchipuram, Chengalpattu, Mayiladuthurai, Ariyalur, Perambalur, Kallakurchi, Villupuram and Tiruvannamalai districts of Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Karaikal. Isolated heavy to very heavy rain with isolated extremely heavy rain may occur also over Coastal Andhra Pradesh and Rayalaseema. Heavy rain is forecast over Vellore, Ranipet, Tiruvallur, Tirupattur, Krishnagiri, Tiruchirappalli, Salem and Dharmapuri districts.
Dangerous sea conditions
On Wednesday afternoon, the sea condition was ‘very high’ (wave heights of 30-46 ft) over the South-West Bay of Bengal and ‘very rough to high’ (20-30 ft) along and off Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and South Andhra Pradesh coasts and over the Gulf of Mannar. It would gradually become ‘phenomenal’ (46 ft and above) over the South-West Bay of Bengal and along and off the North Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts from the till the early hours of Thursday.