Cyclone Mandous, which is likely to bring heavy rain with strong winds, may hit the north Tamil Nadu coast around Mamallapuram on midnight of December 9, with a wind speed gusting up to 85 kmph.
A holiday has been declared on December 9 for schools and colleges in Chennai, Cuddalore, Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur, Chengalpattu, Ranipet, Vellore, Villupuram, Thiruvarur, Perambalur, Kallakurichi, Mayiladuthurai, Thanjavur, Pudukottai, Ariyalur, Dharmapuri, Nagappattinam Tiruchirappalli, Salem and Namakkal districts in view of the heavy rain alert.
According to Regional Meteorological Centre, Chennai, the cyclone that formed around 11.30 p.m. on December 7 is lying over southwest Bay of Bengal, about 350 km east-southeast of Karaikal and about 440 km southeast of Chennai. It is very likely to maintain its intensity of Severe Cyclonic Storm till early morning of December 9 and weaken gradually into a cyclonic storm by forenoon that day. The system would then continue to move west-northwestwards and cross north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coasts between Puducherry and Sriharikota, around Mamallapuram.
The cyclone may have a widespread impact over the State till December 10.
Rain intensity may peak on December 9 when the cyclone gets closer to the coast. Eight districts, including Ranipet and Kallukurichi, would receive an intense rain (up to 20 cm). Isolated heavy rain may occur in 15 other districts, including Ariyalur and Namakkal, and in Delta districts on December 9.
Chennai may have to brace for heavy to very heavy rain of up to 20 cm on December 9 and 10. Rain may be extremely heavy in one or two places over Kancheepuram, Puducherry, Chengalpattu and Villupuram on December 9.
Heavy to very heavy rain may continue, particularly over the northern parts of the State, after landfall on December 10. In other places, it is expected to reduce to moderate intensity.
On December 8, Chennai experienced nip in the air as the cyclone influenced northerly winds, said officials. S. Balachandran, Additional Director General of Meteorology, Chennai, said there was a temporary decrease in the weather system’s movement and intensification due to diurnal variations within the day and windshear. But the cyclone picked up by early morning on December 8.
Several factors, including internal dynamics and external influences, determine the strength and movement of a cyclone. “We cannot compare cyclones as each of them have unique dynamics,” Mr. Balachandran added.
The RMC has predicted stronger winds on December 9, gusting up to 80 kmph. Storm surge of about 0.5 m height may inundate low-lying areas in the north coastal region during landfall.
In Puducherry and Kariakal, a holiday has been declared for all government and private schools on December 9 and 10.
The University of Madras, the Tamil Nadu Dr. Ambedkar Law University, the Tamil Nadu Dr. M.G.R. Medical University, the Anna University and the Bharathidasan University said that exams scheduled to be held on December 9 have been postponed.