Cyclone Vardah in Bay of Bengal has been making slow progress near the Andaman Islands. Yesterday morning IMD announced the formation of Cyclone Vardah intensifying from the Deep Depression which was moving to the Southwest of Andaman Islands. The last 24 hours or so the movement has been very slow with Cyclone Vardah moving only about 125 kms or so during this period.
Both IMD and Joint Typhoon Warning Center, a US Government weather Agency, have been suggesting a Northwest Track in the immediate future that will slowly start bringing Cyclone Vardah towards Peninsular Coast. The Key region as we see that could decide the landfall location lies between 85 & 90E. How Cyclone Vardah behaves in this region could play a crucial role in the landfall location.
A more pronounced NW movement could take it to Central AP while a more W/NW movement could take it to South AP. It appears the landfall is likely to be around Nellore – Ongole belt as things stand though it would make sense to wait for another day to see how Cyclone Vardah behaves. But the overall pattern suggest the system is likely to weaken before landfall which could possibly push the landfall a little bit to the South compared to what models originally estimate. We also need to keep a watch on the Dry Air intrusion which could possibly decimate the system even before the models blink.
The slow movement of the tropical disturbance over the last couple of days has meant very heavy rains over the South Bay region with Nicobar Islands bearing the brunt of these heavy rains. Car Nicobar has recorded more than 30 cms in the last 4 days with localized flooding a consequence of the heavy rains in the region.
With Cyclone Vardah now showing a clear NW path things could speed up giving much needed relief to the Islands.