Category Archives: Indian Ocean

Tropical Storm Pabuk Brings Wind and Rain to Southern Thailand

Tropical Storm Pabuk brought wind and rain to southern Thailand on Friday.  At 5:00 p.m. EST on Friday the center of Tropical Storm Pabuk was located at latitude 8.7°N and longitude 98.5°E which put it about 60 miles (95 km) northeast of Phuket, Thailand.  Pabuk was moving toward the west-northwest at 10 m.p.h. (16 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 997 mb.

Tropical Storm Pabuk made landfall near Sichon in southern Thailand.  Pabuk brought gusty winds to much of the Isthmus of Kra.  It also dropped heavy rain over parts of southern Thailand.  Tropical Storm Pabuk weakened when it crossed the Isthmus of Kra, but the core of the circulation appears to have remained intact.  Pabuk is moving over the Andaman Sea and it still has a well defined low level center of circulation.  Several bands of showers and thunderstorms are revolving around the core of the tropical storm.  Additional bands of showers and thunderstorms are located in the northeastern part of the circulation which is over the Gulf of Thailand.

Tropical Storm Pabuk will move into an environment favorable for intensification during the next 24 to 36 hours.  Pabuk will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C.  An upper level ridge over the Western North Pacific Ocean will produce southeasterly winds which will blow toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds will cause moderate vertical wind shear, which will inhibit intensification.  However, the wind shear may not be strong enough to prevent Tropical Storm Pabuk from strengthening.

Tropical Storm Pabuk will continue to move around the western end of the ridge over the Western North Pacific Ocean.  The ridge will steer Pabuk toward the west-northwest for another 24 to 36 hours.  Pabuk will turn more toward the north when it reaches the western end of the ridge.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Pabuk will reach the Andaman Islands in about 36 hours.

Elsewhere over the Western North Pacific Ocean, Tropical Depression 01W formed southeast of the Marshall Islands.  At 4:00 p.m. EST on Friday the center of Tropical Depression 01W was located at latitude 4.9°N and longitude 174.0°E which put it about 250 miles (400 km) southeast of Majuro, Marshall Islands.  It was moving toward the northwest at 15 m.p.h. (24 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 30 m.p.h. (50 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1004 mb.  Tropical Depression 01W is forecast to move toward the west-northwest and strengthen.  On its anticipated track it could move toward Majuro, Kwajalein, Ujelang, and the Marianas.

Tropical Cyclone Cilida Passes East of Mauritius

Strong Tropical Cyclone Cilida passed east of Mauritius on Saturday night.  At 10:00 p.m. EST on Saturday the center of Tropical Cyclone Cilida was located at latitude 20.2°S and longitude 60.3°E which put it about 170 miles (275 km) east of Port Louis, Mauritius.  Cilida was moving toward the south-southeast at 12 m.p.h. (19 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 115 m.p.h. (185 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 145 m.p.h. (230 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 953 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Cilida was being steered to the south-southeast between an upper level trough near Madagascar and a subtropical ridge over the South Indian Ocean.  Those weather systems steered Cilida east of Mauritius.  Northwesterly winds blowing on the eastern side of the upper level trough were causing vertical wind shear.  Tropical Cyclone Cilida was weakening, but it was still the equivalent of a major hurricane.  There was a circular eye at the center of Cilida.  The eye was surrounded by a ring of strong thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Several bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Tropical Cyclone Cilida.

Winds to hurricane/typhoon force extended out about 45 miles (75 km) from the center of Tropical Cyclone Cilida.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 115 miles (185 km) from the center.  Cilida passed far enough to the east of Mauritius that the strongest winds remained offshore.  A weather station at Belle Mare on the east coast of Mauritius reported a maximum wind speed of 38 m.p.h. (61 km/h).  An automated weather station on Signal Mountain reported a maximum wind speed of 49 m.p.h. (79 km/h).  Tropical Cyclone Cilida probably brought winds to tropical storm force to Mauritius, especially at higher elevations.

The stronger rainbands around Tropical Cyclone Cilida also passed east of Mauritius.  Cilida dropped light rain over most of Mauritius.  Heavier rain did fall over locations where the wind blew up the slopes of ridges and mountains.  1.44 inches (36.6 mm) of rain fell at Mon Bois and 1.31 inches (33.4 mm) fell at Mare Aux Vacoas.

The upper level trough over Madagascar will continue to steer Tropical Cyclone Cilida toward the south-southeast.  On its anticipated track Cilida will move farther away from Mauritius.  Tropical Cyclone Cilida will continue to weaken as it moves over cooler Sea Surface Temperatures and the vertical wind shear increases.

Powerful Tropical Cyclone Cilida Strengthens to Equivalent of Cat. 4 Hurricane

Powerful Tropical Cyclone Cilida strengthened to the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale on Friday.  At 4:00 p.m. EST on Friday the center of Tropical Cyclone Cilida was located at latitude 15.9°S and longitude 57.8°E which put it about 310 miles (505 km) north of Port Louis, Mauritius.  Cilida was moving toward the south at 6 m.p.h. (10 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 150 m.p.h. (240 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 185 m.p.h. (295 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 931 mb.

The circulation of Tropical Cyclone Cilida was very well organized.  A circular eye was at the center of circulation.  The eye was surrounded by a ring of strong thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Several bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Tropical Cyclone Cilida.  Storms around the core were generating strong upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the tropical cyclone.

The circulation around Tropical Cyclone Cilida was relatively small.  Winds to hurricane/typhoon force extended out about 35 miles (55 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force only extended out about 95 miles (155 km) from the center.  The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Tropical Cyclone Cilida was 31.6.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 11.0 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 42.6.

Tropical Cyclone Cilida may have peaked in intensity, but it will move through an environment capable of supporting a strong tropical cyclone for another 24 to 36 hours.  Cilida will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C for about another 24 hours.  Then it will start to move over colder waters.  Tropical Cyclone Cilida will move toward the upper level westerly winds in the middle latitudes and the vertical wind shear will increase in about 36 hours.  When Cilida moves over colder water and under stronger upper level winds, it will weaken more quickly.

Tropical Cyclone Cilida is moving around the western end of a subtropical ridge over the South Indian Ocean.  The ridge will start to steer Cilida toward the southeast on Saturday.  On its anticipated track, the center of Tropical Cyclone Cilida could be a little northeast of Mauritius in about 24 hours.  It will still be a powerful tropical cyclone at that time.

Elsewhere over the South Indian Ocean, Tropical Cyclone Kenanga continued to weaken well to the southeast of Diego Garcia.  At 4:00 p.m. EST on Friday the center of Tropical Cyclone Kenanga was located at latitude 16.3°S and longitude 78.5°E which put it about 760 miles (1225 km) southeast of Diego Garcia.  Kenanga was moving toward the west at 7 m.p.h. (11 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 982 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Cilida Quickly Intensifies Into Equivalent of a Major Hurricane

Tropical Cyclone Cilida quickly intensified into the equivalent of a major hurricane north of Mauritius on Thursday.  At 10:00 p.m. EST on Thursday the center of Tropical Cyclone Cilida was located at latitude 14.5°N and longitude 58.0°E which put it about 410 miles (660 km) north of Port Louis, Mauritius.  Cilida was moving toward the southwest at 8 m.p.h. (13 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 120 m.p.h. (195 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 150 m.p.h. (240 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 949 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Cilida intensified quickly on Thursday.  A symmetrical, circular eye appeared more distinctly on satellite images.  The eye was surrounded by a ring of strong thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Several bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Tropical Cyclone Cilida.  Storms near the core of Cilida generated strong upper level divergence which pumped mass away from the tropical cyclone.  The removal of mass allowed the surface pressure to decrease rapidly and the wind speed increased in response to a larger pressure gradient force.  Winds to hurricane/typhoon force extended out about 35 miles (55 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 120 miles (195 km) from the center.

Tropical Cyclone Cilida will move through an environment favorable for strong tropical cyclones during the next 24 to 36 hours.  Cilida will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C.  It will move through an area where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Tropical Cyclone Cilida will get stronger during the next day or so unless an eyewall replacement cycle begins.  If a rainband wraps around the existing eyewall, then an eyewall replacement cycle could cause Cilida to weaken.

Tropical Cyclone Cilida will move around the western end of a subtropical ridge over the South Indian Ocean.  The ridge is likely to steer Cilida toward the southwest for another 12 hours or so.  Tropical Cyclone Cilida will move more toward the south when it reaches the western end of the ridge.  In 36 to 48 hours Cilida will begin to be affected by the westerly winds in the middle latitudes and those winds will start to steer the tropical cyclone toward the southeast,  On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Cilida could approach Mauritius in about 36 hours.

Elsewhere over the South Indian Ocean Tropical Cyclone Kenanga weakened slowly well to the southeast of Diego Garcia.  At 10:00 p.m. EST on Thursday the center of Tropical Cyclone Kenanga was located at latitude 16.2°S and longitude 80.2°E which put it about 825 miles (1330 km) southeast of Diego Garcia.  Kenanga was moving toward the west-northwest at 6 m.p.h. (10 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 95 m.p.h. (155 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 115 m.p.h. (185 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 965 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Cilida Forms North of Mauritius

Tropical Cyclone Cilida formed north of Mauritius on Wednesday.  At 10:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday the center of Tropical Cyclone Cilida was located at latitude 12.2°S and longitude 59.8°E which put it about 585 miles (945 km) north-northeast of Port Louis, Mauritius.  Cilida was moving toward the southwest at 5 m.p.h. (8 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 55 m.p.h. (90 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 70 m.p.h. (110 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 989 mb.

The circulation around Tropical Cyclone Cilida organized quickly on Wednesday. A small circular eye formed at the center of circulation.  A ring of strong thunderstorms formed around the eye and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  A strong band of storms wrapped around the western and northern sides of Cilida.  Other bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Tropical Cyclone Cilida.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 100 miles (160 km) from the center of circulation.

Tropical Storm Cilida will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 48 to 72 hours.  Cilida will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 27°C.  It will move through an area where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Cilida is likely to strengthen into the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon on Thursday and it could intensify rapidly.  Tropical Cyclone Cilida could intensify into the equivalent of a major hurricane in two or three days.

Tropical Cyclone Cilida will move around the western end of a subtropical ridge.  The ridge will steer Cilida toward the south during the next several days.  On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Cilida could approach Mauritius from the north in about 48 hours.

Elsewhere over the South Indian Ocean Tropical Cyclone Kenanga drifted southeast of Diego Garcia.  At 10:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday the center Tropical Cyclone Kenanga was located at latitude 16.5°S and longitude 81.9°E which put it about 910 miles (1470 km) southeast of Diego Garcia.  Kenanga was stationary.  The maximum sustained wind speed was 125 m.p.h. (205 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 155 m.p.h. (250 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 947 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Kenanga Intensifies Into Equivalent of a Major Hurricane

Tropical Cyclone Kenanga intensified into the equivalent of a major hurricane on Tuesday.  At 10:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday the center of Tropical Cyclone Kenanga was located at latitude 15.9°S and longitude 82.6°E which put it about 920 miles (1485 km) southeast of Diego Garcia.  Kenanga was moving toward the southwest at 7 m.p.h. (11 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 130 m.p.h. (215 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 160 m.p.h. (260 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 944 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Kenanga intensified quickly into the equivalent of a major hurricane on Tuesday.  A large circular eye with a diameter of 50 miles (80 km) formed at the center of circulation.  A ring of strong thunderstorms surrounded the eye and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Tropical Cyclone Kenanga.  Storms around the core of Kenanga were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away to the west and north of the tropical cyclone.  Winds to hurricane/typhoon force extended out about 60 miles (95 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 200 miles (320 km) from the center.

Tropical Cyclone Kenanga may be near its peak intensity.  Kenanga is over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C, but it will start to move over slightly cooler water during the next day or two.  Tropical Cyclone Kenanga is in an area where the upper level winds are weak and there is little vertical wind shear.  However, Kenanga will move closer to upper level westerly winds in the middle latitudes later this week and the vertical wind shear will increase.  Tropical Cyclone Kenanga could maintain its intensity or weaken slowly during the next day or so.  Kenanga could weaken more quickly later this week.

Tropical Cyclone Kenanga will move south of a subtropical ridge over the South Indian Ocean.  The ridge will continue to steer Kenanga toward the southwest.  On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Kenanga will pass well to the south of Diego Garcia.

Elsewhere over the South Indian Ocean Tropical Cyclone 07S developed north-northeast of Mauritius.  At 10:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday the center of Tropical Cyclone 07S was located at latitude 10.9°S and longitude 60.8°E which put it about 690 miles (1115 km) north-northeast of Port Louis, Mauritius.  It was moving toward the south-southwest at 3 m.p.h. (5 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 998 mb

Tropical Cyclone Phethai Brings Wind and Rain to India

Tropical Cyclone Phethai brought wind and rain to parts of eastern India on Sunday night.  The center of Phethai made landfall southwest of Visakhapatnam, India near the Mouths of the Godavari.  At 10:00 p.m. EST on Sunday the center of Tropical Cyclone Phethai was located at latitude 15.7°N and longitude 82.4°E which put it about 150 miles (240 km) southwest of Visakhapatnam.  Phethai was moving toward the north at 11 m.p.h. (17 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 55 m.p.h. (90 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 989 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Phethai strengthened earlier on Sunday, but it started to weaken slightly when it approached the east coast of India.  Phethai moved over slightly cooler water as it moved farther north over the western Bay of Bengal.  Tropical Cyclone Phethai moved closer to upper level westerly winds in the middle latitudes and the vertical wind shear increased.  Cooler water and more wind shear caused Phethai to start to weaken when it approached the coast.

Even though Tropical Cyclone Phethai started to weaken when it approached the coast of India, the circulation remained well organized.  There was a distinct center of circulation.  Stronger thunderstorms were occurring just to the west of the center.  Additional bands of showers and thunderstorms were located north and east of the center of Tropical Cyclone Phethai.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 140 miles (225 km) from the center of circulation.

Tropical Cyclone Phethai is moving around the western end of a ridge of high pressure over southeast Asia.  The ridge will steer Phethai in a north-northeasterly direction.  On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Phethai will move over eastern Andhra Pradesh and southern Orissa.  Phethai will drop locally heavy rain as it moves inland and flash flooding could occur in some locations.

Elsewhere, Tropical Cyclone Kenanga strengthened over the South Indian Ocean.  At 10:00 p.m. EST on Sunday the center of Tropical Cyclone Kenanga was located at latitude 12.7°S and longitude 83.7°E which put it about 1095 miles (1770 km) east-southeast of Diego Garcia.  Kenanga was moving toward the southwest at 20 m.p.h. (32 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 987 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Phethai Forms Over Southwest Bay of Bengal

Tropical Cyclone Phethai formed over the southwest Bay of Bengal on Saturday.  At 4:00 p.m. EST on Saturday the center of Tropical Cyclone Phethai was located at latitude 11.1°N and longitude 84.5°E which put it about 480 miles (775 km) south-southeast of Visakhapatnam, India.  Phethai was moving toward the northwest at 5 m.p.h. (8 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 994 mb.

More thunderstorms developed closer to the center of a low pressure system over the southwestern Bay of Bengal and the Indian Meteorological Department designated the system as Tropical Cyclone Phethai.  The distribution of thunderstorms was asymmetrical.  Most of the stronger thunderstorms were occurring northwest of the center of circulation.  There were fewer thunderstorms southeast of the center, although several bands of thunderstorms were developing on the eastern periphery of the circulation.  Storms northwest of the center were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away to the north of the tropical cyclone.

Tropical Cyclone Phethai will move through an environment somewhat favorable for intensification.  Phethai will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 27°C.  It will move around the eastern end of an upper level ridge over southeast Asia.  The ridge is already producing southeasterly winds which are blowing toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds are causing moderate vertical wind shear and the shear is the reason for the asymmetrical distribution of thunderstorms.  The wind shear will continue and it will inhibit the intensification of Tropical Cyclone Phethai.  Phethai could strengthen during the next 24 to 36 hours, but the rate of intensification is likely to be slow.

The ridge over southeast Asia will steer Tropical Cyclone Phethai north-northwest during the next several days.  On its anticipated track Phethai will move toward the east coast of India.  Tropical Cyclone Phethai could approach the coast near Visakhaptnam in about 48 hours.  Phethai will bring gusty winds but heavy rain and flooding will be greater risks.

Elsewhere, Tropical Cyclone 06S formed over the South Indian Ocean on Saturday.  At 4:00 p.m. EST on Saturday the center of Tropical Cyclone 06S was located at latitude 9.1°S and longitude 91.2°E which put it about 1285 miles (2070 km) east of Diego Garcia.  It was moving toward the south-southeast at 3 m.p.h. (5 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 998 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Gaja Makes Landfall in Southern India

Tropical Cyclone Gaja made landfall on the coast of southern India just south of Nagappattinam on Thursday.  At 4:00 p.m. EST on Thursday the center of Tropical Storm Gaja was located at latitude 10.5°N and longitude 79.7°E which put it about 10 miles (15 km) south of Nagappattinam, India.  Gaja was moving toward the west-southwest at 11 m.p.h. (17 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 85 m.p.h. (135 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 100 m.p.h. (160 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 974 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Gaja strengthened rapidly into the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon while it approached the coast of Southern India.  A small circular eye formed at the center of circulation.  A ring of strong thunderstorms surrounded the eye and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Several bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Tropical Cyclone Gaja.  The circulation of Gaja was small, which allowed it to strengthen quickly before landfall.  Winds to hurricane/typhoon force only extended out about 10 miles (15 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force only extended out about 65 miles (105 km) from the center.

Tropical Cyclone Gaja produced winds strong enough to cause damage in the area near Nagappattinam.  Those winds could bring a storm surge of 5 to 8 feet (1.5 to 2.5 meters) near where the center made landfall.  The small size of Tropical Cyclone Gaja and the fact it did not intensify until it neared the coast will limit the magnitude of the storm surge.  Gaja is forecast to move westward across southern India.  Tropical Cyclone Gaja will weaken when it moves inland but it will drop locally heavy rain over Tamil Nadu, Kerala and southern Karnataka.  The heavy rain could cause flash flooding in those regions.

Tropical Cyclone Gaja will weaken while it moves across southern India.  The small size of the circulation and mountains in that area will contribute to a fairly rapid weakening.  The circulation in the lower levels could be seriously disrupted when it moves over the mountains, but the circulation in the middle levels may persist.  Some numerical models are forecasting that Tropical Cyclone Gaja could strengthen back into the equivalent of a tropical storm when it moves over the Arabian Sea.

Tropical Cyclone Gaja Moves Closer to Southern India

Tropical Cyclone Gaja moved closer to southern India and strengthened on Wednesday.  At 4:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday the center of Tropical Cyclone Gaja was located at latitude 11.7°N and longitude 83.6°E which put it about 260 miles (420 km) east of Cuddalore, India.  Gaja was moving toward the southwest at 10 m.p.h. (16 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 996 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Gaja strengthened on Wednesday.  More thunderstorms developed near the center of circulation.  Some microwave images exhibited the appearance of an eyelike feature in the lower levels.  The inner end of a rainband appeared to be wrapping around the center of Gaja.  There were several bands of stronger thunderstorms in the western half of Tropical Cyclone Gaja.  Rainbands in the eastern half of the tropical cyclone consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds.  The storms around the center of circulation were generating strong upper level divergence which was pumping mass away to the northeast of Gaja.  The circulation around Tropical Cyclone Gaja was relatively small.  Winds to tropical storm force only extended out about 65 miles (105 km) from the center of circulation.

Tropical Cyclone Gaja will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours.  Gaja will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  It will move southwest of an upper level ridge.  The ridge will produce southeasterly winds which will blow toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds will restrict upper level divergence to the southeast of Gaja.  They will also cause moderate vertical wind shear, which is probably the reason why most of the stronger thunderstorms are occurring in the western half of the circulation.  The wind shear will slow intensification, but Tropical Cyclone Gaja will strengthen during the next 24 hours.  Gaja could intensify to the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon.

Tropical Cyclone Gaja will move south of a ridge in the middle troposphere during the next 48 hours.  The ridge will steer Gaja on a track that is a little south of straight westward.  On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Gaja will approach the coast of southern India in about 24 hours.  Gaja will make landfall in Tamil Nadu between Cuddalore and Nagappattinam in a little over a day.  It could be the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon when it makes landfall.  Gaja will bring strong winds and it could cause a storm surge of 5 to 8 feet (1.5 to 2.5 metres) at the coast.  Tropical Cyclone Gaja will drop locally heavy rain over portions of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala.  Heavy rain could cause flash floods in some locations.