Cyclonic storm ‘Michaung’ over southwest Bay of Bengal (BoB) has intensified further to a severe cyclonic storm. The storm has moved north-northwest with a speed of about 10kmh, during past 6 hours. It is centered around 13.5°N and 81.2°E today morning. It has already crossed east abeam Chennai and is now positioned about 120km east-northeast of Chennai. The cyclone will start moving more of northward and closing in the South Coastal Andhra Pradesh.
As the storm has tracked nearly parallel to the Coromandal Coast, extremely heavy rains were lashed over north coastal Tamil Nadu and extreme south coast of Andhra Pradesh. Official observatory of Chennai, Nungambakkam recorded 230mm and the airport observatory Meenambakkam, still ahead, measured 250mm rainfall in the past 24hours, ending 8.30 a.m today morning. Heavy rainfall continues. Nellore in Andhra Pradesh was also deluged with 195mm of rainfall during this period.
The storm is still having favourable environmental conditions with fairly warm sea surface and low wind shear. However, the northward track of the storm will bring it closer to the land and therefore increase friction. Michaung is likely to reach its peak intensity during evening hours today, when the winds will be in excess of 110kmph and gusting to about 125kmph in the inner ring of the storm. Thereafter, the entrainment and terrain effect may erode its tight configuration, albeit slowly. The storm will keep heading northward till it crosses the coast tomorrow morning.
The landfall window seems to be anytime between 0900hr and 1100 hr, crossing coast as severe cyclonic storm. Wind speed in association with the severe cyclonic storm range between 89-117kmh. Michaung may lash the coast with 100kmh and gusting to 120kmh. The storm is likely to make landfall between Kavali and Machilipatnam with a likely chance of crossing coast near Bapatla.
The storm will weaken after crossing the coast. However, it will have a tendency to recurve northeastward over land and again move parallel to the coast. With this, it will keep proximity to the Bay of Bengal. The moisture from the water body may sustain the storm for nearly 6-8 hours after the landfall and start weakening rapidly thereafter. Even as weakened depression and low pressure area, moderate to heavy rains, accompanied with squally winds are expected over Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Odisha.