A deep depression formed in the Bay of Bengal on December 7 and intensified into a Cyclonic Storm “Mandous” on December 8, 2022, becoming the third named storm of the 2022 North Indian Ocean cyclone season. The cyclone is expected to make landfall over northern Tamil Nadu on December 9, bringing strong winds and heavy rainfall.
At 03:00 UTC on December 8, the center of Cyclonic Storm “Mandous” was located about 340 km (211 miles) ENE of Trincomalee, Sri Lanka, and 470 km (292 miles) ESE of Jaffna, Sri Lanka, according to the RSMC New Delhi.1
The system is forecast to continue moving WNW and cross north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coast between Puducherry and Sriharikota with a maximum sustained
wind speed of 65 – 75 km/h (40 – 45 mph), gusting to 85 km/h (53 mph) on December 9.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a red alert for three districts of Tamil Nadu — Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram, and Villupuram. An orange alert was issued for Cuddalore, Myladuthurai, Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur, Thanjavur, and Pudukottai districts for Thursday.
The IMD is warning residents Mandous will bring heavy rain through December 10 to Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Karaikkal areas. Winds in excess of 40 km/h (25 mph), gusting to 60 km/h (37 mph) are forecast from December 8. The wind intensity may go up to 90 km/h (55 mph) on December 9 and 10.
Authorities said the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) teams are kept ready in all district collectorates.2
Damage expected over Coastal Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and adjoining south coastal
- Damage to thatched houses/ huts. Unattached metal sheets may fly
- Minor damage to power and communication lines
- Major damage to Kutcha and some damage to Pucca roads. Flooding of escape routes
- Breaking of tree branches, uprooting of small trees. Dead limbs blown from trees
- Damage to banana and papaya trees and near coastal agriculture due to salt spray. Damage to paddy and other standing crops
- Inundation/localized flooding in low-lying areas due to heavy rains
- Traffic may be disrupted due to poor visibility in association with heavy rain
Action suggested over Coastal Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, and adjoining south coastal Andhra Pradesh:
- Total suspension of fishing operations from December 8 to 10
- Regulate onshore and off-shore operations during the same period
- People are advised to be cautious while going outside
- Regulate traffic
- People should not move nearby to vulnerable structures
Mandous happens to be 7th cyclone in as many years, in the month of December in the Indian Seas and 3rd successive storm in the Bay of Bengal, after Burevi in 2020 and Jowad last year.3
All the December storms over the Bay of Bengal have a history of weakening before making landfall and few of those diffused over open waters.
The only exception in the recent past was cyclone Vardah, a very severe cyclonic storm, making landfall close to Chennai on December 12, 2016. Vardah had crossed over to the Arabian Sea as a weak system and intensified again to become a deep depression.
1 Cyclonic Storm “Mandous” Bulleting No. 9 – IMD – 03:00 UTC on December 8, 2022
2 Cyclone Mandous: Red alert in 3 TN districts, orange alert in 6 – Newsroom Odisha – December 8, 2022
3 Cyclone Mandous strengthens over Bay of Bengal, heads for north Tamil Nadu – SkyMetWeather – December 8, 2022
Featured image: Tropical Cyclone “Mandous” on December 9, 2022. Credit: IMD
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