The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) released crucial information on Sunday, revealing that the previously identified deep depression over the Southwest Bay of Bengal has now intensified into Cyclonic Storm Michaung. Projections indicate that the cyclone is poised to reach Andhra Pradesh on December 5, potentially causing widespread rainfall across several regions of the country.
Here are the latest updates on Cyclone Michaung:
In a recent update via X (formerly Twitter), the IMD announced the escalation of the Deep Depression over Southwest Bay of Bengal into Cyclonic Storm Michaung at 5:30 am today.
The official statement from the weather forecasting agency read, "Deep Depression over Southwest Bay of Bengal intensified into a Cyclonic Storm MICHAUNG at 0530 hrs IST on 3rd December in the same region, approximately 300 km east-southeast of Puducherry, 310 km southeast of Chennai, 440 km southeast of Nellore, and 550 km south-southeast of Machilipatnam."
IMD has issued a heavy rainfall warning for four districts in Tamil Nadu concerning Cyclone Michaung. Anticipated heavy rainfall is expected in isolated areas within Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram, and Chengalpattu districts over the next 24 hours. Furthermore, IMD has forecasted moderate rainfall accompanied by light thunderstorms and lightning across multiple places within these districts.
Projections suggest that Cyclone Michaung is set to make landfall between Andhra Pradesh's Nellore and Machilipatnam on December 5, with a sustained wind speed ranging between 80-90 kmph, gusting up to 100 kmph, as predicted by IMD.
MD Sunanda from the IMD Visakhapatnam Cyclone Warning Centre provided detailed insights, stating, "The deep depression over Southwest Bay of Bengal has moved west-northwestwards at a speed of 18 kmph over the past 6 hours and was centered on December 2, 2023, in the same region near Latitude 10.6°N and Longitude 83.6°E. It was approximately 440 km east-southeast of Puducherry, 450 km east-southeast of Chennai, 580 km south-southeast of Nellore, 670 km south-southeast of Bapatla, and 670 km south-southeast of Machilipatnam."
Sunanda continued, "The system is likely to track west-northwestward, intensifying into a cyclonic storm within the next 24 hours over the Southwest Bay of Bengal. Subsequently, it is expected to continue its northwestward movement and reach the west-central Bay of Bengal, off the coasts of south Andhra Pradesh and adjoining north Tamil Nadu, by the forenoon of December 4."
Shedding light on the expected time and location of Cyclone Michaung's landfall, Sunanda mentioned, "It is projected to move nearly northwards, running almost parallel and in proximity to the south Andhra Pradesh coasts. The cyclone is anticipated to make landfall between Nellore and Machilipatnam along the south Andhra Pradesh coasts during the forenoon of December 5, maintaining a cyclonic storm status with sustained wind speeds of 80-90 kmph, gusting up to 100 kmph."
In light of the anticipated harsh sea conditions, the IMD has issued warnings urging fishermen to refrain from venturing into the sea. Consequently, more than 5,000 fishermen heeded the cautionary advice, abstaining from fishing activities, and approximately 1,000 boats remained docked at Pulicat Lake in Tiruvallur as a safety precaution.