MAY 13, 2016


THE low pressure area that has formed southeast of Sri Lanka will intensify into deep depression or possibly tropical cyclone ROANU and hit the coast of Tamil Nadu on May 17, 2016.

This Bay of Bengal storm system is expected by numerical weather prediction models to have a central minimum pressure of 985 hPa by the time it reaches the Tamil coast south of Chennai. That means a moderate storm with sustained winds of 70-80 km/h.

Though US NAVY NAVGEM model foresees a stronger cyclone with a 982 hPa pressure.

Strong winds torrential rain will lash the state from Tuesday. Chennai will be badly affected.

The system is then expected to hug the Indian coast and move into coastal Andhra Pradesh. If this happens, very heavy rains are expected in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, coastal West Bengal and Bangladesh in the coming week.

Heavy showers may start in Tamil Nadu from Monday  itself.

Please note that extreme weather systems like this upcoming depression are very unpredictable by nature. What we have forecast is gleaned from data from global NWP (Numerical Weather Prediction) models. And all the models are not in unanimity about the track of this system.

Some models are foreseeing a vicious cyclone that will move past the Tamil Nadu then Andhra coast onto Bangladesh. Hence please keep in touch with our latest updates. The situation is mercurial at present.

Though the European forecast model ECMWF is more sanguine about the expected storm. It believes it will be a depression, not a tropical cyclone. It predicts a different track for the system than the GFS model. See maps below.

Bay of Bengal Storm Updates

As regards the future route of the system, there is an alternative possibility. The GFS believes it will weaken into a low pressure area after it swings away from Tamil Nadu into the sea and make landfall into Myanmar later in the week.

Track forecast for Bay of Bengal depression May 2016 by ECMWF and GFS.

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