Deep depression over Southwest Bay of Bengal (BoB) has intensified in to a cyclonic storm, named Michaung. Earlier, the deep depression moved consistently northwest and finally upgraded to tropical storm at 5.30 a.m today. Presently, the storm is centered around 11.5 degree North and 82.5degree East, about 350km east-southeast of Chennai.
The convection has deepened further and the curved cloud band have tightly and closely wrapped around the low level cyclonic circulation over that area. Stimulating MJO in Phase 3 has significantly contributed for intensification.
Environment conditions remain favourable for further strengthening and deepening of the storm. There is decent ocean heat content and submissive vertical wind shear over the area of influence. As the system moves further northwest, the proximity of the approaching landmass becomes a concern. Therefore, an explosive intensification is not anticipated.
The tropical storm is closing in to the coast of Tamil Nadu to start with. It is likely to reach east abeam Chennai during late tonight or wee hours tomorrow. Further, the storm will move more of northward, heading for South Coastal Andhra Pradesh. The cyclone will move nearly parallel and dangerously close to the coastline for nearly 24 hours. There is lot of uncertainty and disagreement among the various models about the place and time of landfall. However, the broad consensus suggest the landfall between Nellore and Kakinada, anytime from early morning to forenoon hours on 05th December 2023.
Inclement weather conditions with gale speed winds and blinding rains may prove detrimental for a large stretch from North Tamil Nadu to Coastal Andhra Pradesh, between Puducherry, Chennai, Nellore, Ongole, Kavali, Bapatla, Machilipatnam, Kakinada and Tuni. All precautions, including safe evacuation, need to be in place, tentatively till the morning hours of 06th December 2023.