Cyclone Mandous to bring heavy rains over T.N. today before it hits coast around midnight

The cyclone is expected to make landfall around Mamallapuram at about midnight on Friday; the weather warning for Saturday has been downgraded from red, to orange and yellow; many parts of the State are already receiving heavy rains

Published - December 09, 2022 10:40 am IST - CHENNAI

People rush for cover on Marina Beach in Chennai as the rains began on Friday

People rush for cover on Marina Beach in Chennai as the rains began on Friday | Photo Credit: Ragu R

Severe cyclonic storm Mandous is set to weaken into a cyclone, as it heads towards the north Tamil Nadu coast, and makes landfall around Mamallapuram between midnight on Friday and the early hours of Saturday.

Many coastal and delta districts began to receive moderate rains from Thursday night, and intense rains are picking up pace in the north coastal areas particularly around Chennai and its surrounding districts.

Some of the weather stations in TN that received moderate to heavy rains till 5.30 am on Friday are: Nungambakkam 5.3 cm; Meenambakkam 5 cm; Ennore port 3 cm; Madhavaram 6 cm; YMCA Nandanam 5.4 cm; Puzhal 4.4 cm; Taramani 4 cm; MRC Nagar 3 cm; Villivakkam 3.7 cm; Pamban 2.5 cm; Nagappattinam 2.2 cm; Karaikal 1.8 cm and Puducherry 1 cm.

As the severe cyclonic storm is parked close to the north TN coast, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has maintained its red colour coded warning for Kancheepuram, Chengalpattu and Villupuram on Friday.

While isolated heavy to very heavy rains may lash over districts in the north, including Chennai, Tiruvallur, Ranipet, Cuddalore and Tirupattur, isolated heavy rains are possible over 16 other districts, such as Madurai, Karur and delta districts.

Red weather code to become orange and yellow on Saturday

The weather warning has been downgraded to orange and yellow colour codes on Saturday. Light to moderate rains may occur at most places on Saturday.

However, north TN may have chances of intense rains in one or two places.

Friday’s bulletin

According to a bulletin at 9.30 a.m. on Friday, the severe cyclonic storm Mandous moved at a speed of 13 kmph and lay centered over the Southwest Bay of Bengal, about 270 km north-northeast of Trincomalee (Sri Lanka), 200 km east-southeast of Karaikal and about 270 km south-southeast of Chennai.

It is very likely to weaken into a cyclonic storm during next three hours. It will move northwestwards and cross north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and the adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coasts between Puducherry and Sriharikota around Mamallapuram as a cyclonic storm with a maximum sustained wind speed of 65-75 kmph gusting to 85 kmph around midnight on Friday and early on Saturday.

Squally surface winds with speed gusting up to 70 kmph may prevail over north coastal areas and steadily grow stronger up to 80 kmph by Friday evening.

Officials note that it normally would take two to three hours for a weather system to make landfall. It can move with an average speed up to 20 kmph.

Water release

Meanwhile, the Water Resources Department has planned to release a minimal amount of water from three major reservoirs in Chennai as a precautionary measure by Friday noon.

About 100 cusecs of water are to be discharged through the floodgates of Chembarambakkam, Red Hills and Poondi reservoirs. The department has already starting releasing 100 cusecs from the new regulator built recently at Porur lake to prevent flooding in downstream areas.

Cyclone Nivar (November 2020) and cyclone Nilam (November 2012) were some of the cyclones that made landfall close to Puducherry and Mamallapuram in the recent past. Cyclone Nivar crossed the coast near Puducherry as a severe cyclonic storm, dumping extremely heavy rains in coastal areas.

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