City residents woke up to a windy Saturday and several areas experienced light rain, thanks to the severe cyclonic storm, Madi lying over southwest Bay of Bengal, about 500 km southeast of Chennai.
A murky sky and gusty draughts through the day kept the maximum temperature at 27.6 degree Celsius in Nungambakkam, and 27.5 degree Celsius in Meenambakkam, one degree below average for the month.
While Ennore received two cm of rainfall, the weather observatories in Nungambakkam and Meenambakkam recorded around one cm until 83.0 p.m. on Saturday.
According to a weather bulletin, Madi , located 370 km northeast of Trincomalee in Sri Lanka, will intensify further into a very severe cyclonic storm by Sunday. The cyclone’s name, given by Maldives, was sequentially picked from the list of names for tropical cyclones provided by eight Asian countries.
Officials of the meteorological department said the system is expected to move northwards slowly until Monday, and then towards north-north east. Tamil Nadu though, is expected to receive only subdued rainfall until Tuesday, as the system will move away from the coast.
However, surface winds will be gusty with speeds reaching up to 55 km per hour. Fishermen have been warned to be cautious while venturing into the sea on Sunday.
Y.E.A. Raj, deputy director general of meteorology, regional meteorological centre, said the system is expected to be active for three or four days after which it may weaken. “Coastal regions like Chennai may experience light rains as we are at the periphery of the storm. We are tracking the movement of this system. We expect that it will lose intensity and not cross any coast,” he said.
Madi is the fifth system formed over the Bay of Bengal this season, since October. But the State’s seasonal rainfall is still at a deficit by 27 per cent. “The systems have to form at a lower latitude in the Bay and move west north-westwards for the State to benefit from the monsoon,” Mr. Raj said.
For Sunday, the Met department has forecast a few spells of rain or thundershowers in some areas of Chennai.