The Severe Cyclonic Storm Gaja over southwest Bay of Bengal has moved further closer to the coast as it continues to move in west-southwest direction. The system has picked up the pace and has been moving at speed of 22 kmph during the last six hours.
It is presently is centered near latitude 11.2°N and longitude 82°E, about 230 km southeast of Chennai and 180 km east-northeast of Nagapattinam. But due to the close proximity of land mass, Gaja would now encounter high vertical wind shear and low sea surface temperatures, which would lead to weakening of the system.
Thus, Gaja would cross South Tamil Nadu coast between Pamban and Cuddalore, near Nagapattinam as a Cyclonic Storm only by Thursday night. At the time of landfall, wind speed would be around 80-90 kmph gusting to 100 kmph.
We can expect heavy to extremely heavy rainfall over southern districts, particularly over Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Karaikal, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Tuticorin, Pudukkottai, Ramanathapuram and Ariyalur. However, Chennai along with the northern parts of Tamil Nadu would escape the fury of the storm and would settle with light to moderate rains with few short spells of intense rains.
Sea conditions would remain rough to very rough all along and off the Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. Locals and fishermen are advised not to venture out in the sea for the next 24-48 hours.
Storm surge of height may reach to about 1 meter above astronomical tide which have potential to inundate low lying areas of above mentioned districts of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry during landfall.
Major damage to thatched huts/houses, roof tops may blow off and unattached metal sheets may fly.
Damage to power and communication lines are expected. Squally winds may uproot the trees, blow away the roof tops along with major damage to Kutcha huts and houses. Damage to paddy crops, banana, papaya trees and orchards is also expected.
Image Credits – New Indian Express
Any information taken from here should be credited to Skymet Weather