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Depression intensifies into cyclonic storm

Chennai, May 11, 2013, DHNS: 2:27 IST
A tropical storm is threatening to hit the Coromandel Coast much before the southwest monsoon’s onset this year, even as most districts of Tamil Nadu, which are reeling under severe drought, await the rain god’s mercy.

A deep depression over the south-east Bay of Bengal has moved north-westwards and intensified into a cyclonic storm, which has been christened as ‘Mahasen,’ according to the Regional Meteorological Centre here. The practice of naming tropical cyclones began several years ago for “quick identification of storms” and sending warning messages more easily.

There is a well set procedure to draw from a list of “pre-determined tropical cyclone names” for a certain designated period by the Tropical Cyclone Regional Body responsible for that ocean region –– in this case the Indian Ocean region. The identification system covers the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea areas. “Mahasen”, chosen to name this latest cyclone, is from the list of names furnished by Sri Lanka as per its turn from a group of countries in this region.

“Mahasen” on Saturday morning lay centered about 350 km south-west of Car Nicobar in the Andamans, 1,030 km east-southeast of Trincomalee (in Sri Lanka) and 1,300 km southeast of Chennai, the Met office said. The storm would intensify into a severe cyclonic storm during the next 24 hours.

The cyclonic storm would initially move north-westwards during the next 24-36 hours and “recurve thereafter north-eastwards towards the Bangladesh-Myanmar coast,” the Met office said. In this backdrop, the Met office predicted ‘isolated rain or thundershowers’ for north Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry coast. Isolated rain or thunder showers were also predicted for the south and north Andhra Coast.

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