Intensifying Cyclone Mocha to bring hot conditions over North TN

Weather Update
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Cafe Mocha.

Mokha, also spelled Mocha, or Mukha, is a port city on the Red Sea coast of Yemen. Until Aden and al Hudaydah eclipsed it in the 19th century, Mokha was the principal port for Yemen’s capital, Sanaa. Long known for its coffee trade, the city gave its name to Mocha coffee

During the twenty fifth session of WMO/ESCAP Panel on Tropical Cyclones held at Muscat in the year 2000 it was agreed in principle to name tropical cyclones in North Indian Ocean Basin. After lot of deliberations by the member countries from September 2004 Tropical Cyclones over North Indian Ocean Basin started to have names contributed by the member nations. Cylonic Storm Onil became the first cyclone to be named. IMD being the Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre for North Indian Ocean undertakes the activity of monitoring and alerting all the member nations of the North Indian Ocean Basin.

The names of the cyclone is listed alphabetically by country wise with the name contributed by Bangladesh being the first and the one contributed by Yemen being the last in a cycle. The first set of names started with Onil and ended with Amphan contributed by Thailand (UAE & Yemen were not part of the member countries at the time of the first list during 2004). In April 2020 a fresh set of names were contributed by the member nations with Nisarga contributed by Bangladesh starting a fresh cycle. With IMD now announcing the formation of Cyclone Mocha, a name contributed by Yemen, the first set of names comes to an end. The next name will be Biparjoy, a name contributed by Bangladesh to kickstart the next set of names. In all there are four sets of names that were adopted during the 46th session of WMO/ESCAP Panel on Tropical Cyclones held at Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar in 2019.

Satellite image indicates Cyclone Mocha to be visibly unorganized but there is fairly tight agreement among models as it moves away from the Equator conditions are expected to become very conducive for consolidation and a phase of rapid intensification in the next 36 to 72 hours or so. With Bay of Bengal remaining very warm the abundant availability of moisture will provide enough ammunition to Cyclone Mocha. The developing dual outflows are also an indication of consolidation and a fair amount of spin being developed aided by Coriolis effect as it moves away from Equator.

Weather models are in agreement about Cyclone Mocha making landfall as a strong cyclone over the Myanmar coast on Sunday though there appears to be some divergence in the timing of landfall. With no major unfavorable factors seen for Cyclone Mocha during its life cycle there is a very high risk of storm surge couple with heavy wind gusts that could bring a great threat to the coastal areas of Myanmar. The warm ocean in a way could also mean Cyclone Mocha may not weaken before landfall as estimated by some weather models. ICON, the German model continues to consistently estimate peak wind gusts to be above 250 km/h over parts of Myanmar coast at the time of landfall.

Closer home the biggest influence Cyclone Mocha could bring about for Chennai and Tamil Nadu is the return of hot day time conditions. Influenced by the circulation in Bay strong continental winds over Peninsular India is expected to bring about heat from the interior areas of Rayalaseema towards the coastal areas like Chennai thereby increasing the day time temperatures appreciably from today. While one or two suburbs of Chennai may see max temperature touch 40°C from tomorrow more places around Chennai may see day time temperature cross 40°C. Early next week max temperature over North TN and adjoining areas of South AP could be nearly 3 to 5°C above normal bringing heat wave like conditions.

Rains are also expected to greatly reduce over Peninsular India as Cyclone Mocha drags moisture towards it while deepening. This moisture drag is likely to bring isolated intense thunderstorms over parts of Kerala, around Wayanad region, and adjoining areas of Nilgiris dt. in Tamil Nadu. The plains of Tamil Nadu is expected to mostly remain dry with upper level clouds likely to prevail over some parts of the state.

To summarize Chennai and suburbs is likely to see real summer conditions for the next few days as Cyclone Mocha intensifies and moves up North