December 11, 2016
Chennai Cyclone ‘Vardah’ will make a landfall near Chennai between the south Andhra coast and north Tamil Nadu coast by noon tomorrow, reviving hopes of heavy rains for the city after the north-east monsoon played truant.
Met Department officials said here this morning that the cyclone was located some 450 km north-east of Chennai and was likely to move towards the coast. As a result, Chennai and nearby areas were expected to receive heavy rainfall, while others would see brief spells. It may be noted that the cyclone, which is moving in the north-west direction, is the only hope that Chennai has to fill its near-empty reservoirs.
The Met department has predicted that wind speed will be in the range of 40-50 kmph by evening today and will increase steadily overnight and reach a top speed between 70-80 kmph when it hits the coast. Fishermen have been asked not to venture into the sea till the cyclone crosses the coast.
After cyclone ‘Nada’ failed, against the anticipation of disaster management officials, to bring heavy showers to Tamil Nadu with the city recording only 30 mm of rain, all eyes now are on ‘Vardah’, which is pushing its way towards the coast between Chennai and southern Andhra.
At a time when the monsoon has failed to a large extent, farmers hope that ‘Vardah’ will provide them some succour for the forthcoming harvest season. Meanwhile, weather website Skymetweather.com said in the next 24 to 36 hours, the system (‘Vardah’) is expected to cross north Tamil Nadu and the south Andhra Pradesh coast close to Chennai.
In the wake of this, Chennai is expected to receive moderate to heavy rain tomorrow. It said light rainfall is expected to commence later tonight and the intensity of showers is expected to increase tomorrow. Other parts of coastal Tamil Nadu are also expected to receive some good rains during the next 24 hours.