By TWC India Edit Team
Thursday, December 22: It has been a busy month in the Bay of Bengal, where one low-pressure area has already intensified all the way to Severe Cyclonic Storm Mandous in the first half of December. Now, another system has formed and gathered strength in the Bay, and is approaching India’s southern coast.
As per the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the low-pressure area over south Bay of Bengal concentrated into a depression earlier this morning.
It has been moving north-northwestwards at a speed of 20 kmph, and as of 11 am today, it lay centred about 400 km east-northeast of Trincomalee (Sri Lanka), 550 km east-southeast of Nagappattinam (Tamil Nadu) and 630 km southeast of Chennai (Tamil Nadu).
From here, its north-northwestwards is expected to continue for the next 24 hours. Thereafter, during the subsequent 48 hours, it will gradually recurve west-southwestwards towards the Comorin Area across Sri Lanka.
As it edges closer to the Indian coast, it will start dumping intense precipitation over India’s southernmost states. In fact, the IMD has already predicted heavy rains (64.5 mm-115.5 mm) over south coastal Tamil Nadu on Sunday and Monday (Dec 25-26) and south Kerala on Monday (Dec 26), although the wet spell may well continue further into next week.
The depression’s presence in the Bay will also trigger strong winds and rough sea conditions. Therefore, the fisherfolk have been advised against venturing into the seas, at least until next Monday.
It remains to be seen if the system intensifies any further, although it’s currently unlikely that it will strengthen into another Cyclonic Storm. December cyclones in the Bay of Bengal are a rarity, although some do form and to a devastating effect, as Cyclone Mandous is proof.