In a confirmation “Cyclone Vardah is in the Making” IMD has issued a Pre Cyclone Watch today early in the morning after upgrading the current system to Deep Depression. Vardah a Urdu name derived from Arabic lineage was provided by Pakistan as part of the Cyclone Name Roster in North Indian Ocean Basin. Meaning Rose or Flower it takes its origin from the Quran.
Currently the Deep Depression is about 150 kms to the Southwest of Port Blair near the Andaman Islands and making a steady Northward Progress. In the next 24 hours or so it is expected to become a Cyclonic Storm becoming the 4th named cyclonic storm, Cyclone Vardah, of 2016 after Cyclone Roanu, Kyant & Nada so far. 2016 will only be the 5th year since 1990 to see 3 Cyclones during the Northeast Monsoon Season (Oct. – Dec.)
The Deep Depression has been slowly showing signs of good organization with the satellite images indicating the developing Cyclone symbol which resembles the Doordarshan Logo. Showing some good outflow the system is expected to get into a zone in Bay which is conducive for develop with reducing shear & warm waters. Going by how things are shaping we are due for a phase of Rapid Intensification soon. This phase of Rapid Intensification of Cyclone Vardah could turn it into a Northwest Track bringing it towards Peninsular Coast.
While models are consistent in their views of the immediate future of Deep Depression in terms of track and intensity as we get to the 48 – 72 hours time frame there is some amount of divergence with major global models ECMWF and GFS differing by about 300 kms at the time of landfall.
As we have mentioned the current landfall probability extends from North Tamil Nadu coast all the way to South Odisha Coast. We could get some clarity once the Deep Depression intensifies into Cyclone Vardah and goes through that round of Rapid Intensification. Models are fairly in sync about the weakening phase as well before landfall so the model that gets the intensification phase right and the weakening phase right is likely to be the best bet in terms of Landfall location.