Tropical Cyclone Michaung strengthened over the Bay of Bengal east of Chennai, India on Sunday. At 4:00 p.m. EST on Sunday the center of Tropical Cyclone Michaung was located at latitude 13.1°N and longitude 81.7°E which put it about 105 miles (165 km) east of Chennai, India. Michaung was moving toward the northwest at 9 m.p.h. (15 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 Michaung strengthened gradually on Sunday. The inner end of a rainband wrapped around the western side of the center of Michaung’s circulation. Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the center of Tropical Cyclone Michaung. Storms near the center of circulation generated upper level divergence that pumped mass away from the tropical cyclone. The removal of mass caused the surface pressure to decrease. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 115 miles (185 km) from the center of Tropical Cyclone Michaung.
Tropical Cyclone Michaung will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours. Michaung will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 29°C. It will move under the southwestern part of an upper level ridge over the Bay of Bengal. The upper level ridge will produce southeasterly winds that will blow toward the top of Michaung’s circulation. Those winds will cause some vertical wind shear, but the wind shear will not be enough to prevent intensification. Tropical Cyclone Michaung system will intensify during the next 24 hours. Michaung could strengthen to the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon.
Tropical Cyclone Michaung will move around the southwestern part of a high pressure system over East Asia. The high pressure system will steer Michaung toward the north-northwest during the next 24 hours. On its anticipated track, Tropical Cyclone Michaung will move toward the coast of southeast India. The center of Michaung will approach the coast between Nellore and Machilipatnam in 36 hours. The India Meteorological Department issued Cyclone Alerts for the coasts of Andhra Pradesh, North Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. Tropical Cyclone Michaung will bring strong winds and locally heavy rain to parts of southeast India. Bands in the western side of Michaung’s circulation were already dropping rain over northern Tamil Nadu and southern Andhra Pradesh. Heavy rain could cause floods in some locations. Tropical Cyclone Michaung could cause a storm surge of up to seven feet (two meters) along the coast.