Cyclone Gulab in the Northwest Bay of Bengal (BoB) has nearly tracked westward with a slow speed of about 7-8kmh. It is centered at 18.3 degree N and 87 degree E, about 320km southeast of Kalingapatnam. The cyclone is packed with wind speed of about 80kmh, gusting to 90kmh. Also, the satellite imagery indicate cloud dense overcast (CDO) cloudmass in the central region with fairly decent inflow pattern.
The cloud configuration depicts consolidation and therefore slight intensification in the next 6hr. Warm sea surface temperature of 29 deg C and strong outflow of the storm will help sustain its status as 'Tropical Storm'. However, vertical wind shear and entrainment will restrain its further intensification before making landfall. Rather, it may weaken a little before striking the coast.
The storm may gain speed gradually and keep heading towards North Coastal Andhra Pradesh. It is likely to make landfall, sometime late in the evening or early night (2000hr-2300hr). The cyclone is expected to make landfall between Kalingapatnam and Srikakulam.
Gale winds with speed of 80-90kmh accompanied with torrential rains will lash North Andhra Pradesh and South Odisha coasts. The coastline from East Godavari to Gopalpur across Vishakhapatnam, Kalingapatnam and Srikakulam districts will be vulnerable for furious impact of the storm. Coastal stations have already started raining and this will intensify and become continuous.
Damaging potential of the storm always is connected with deadly combination of strong winds and extremely heavy rains. Storm surge with wave height of about 15feet or more will inundate the coastal areas. Communication and connectivity, with felling of trees and poles is expected to be hampered. The storm is going to make landfall in the dark hours and therefore utmost caution need to be exercised.