The AccuWeather Tropical Cyclone Center is keeping a close eye on a developing area of low pressure in the southern Bay of Bengal.
The low is expected to track westward toward southeastern India and Sri Lanka this weekend before moving onshore early next week.
The combination of warm waters and a lack of strong wind shear could allow the low to develop into a tropical depression or weak cyclone (the equivalent of a minimal tropical storm in the Atlantic or Pacific oceans).
Localized damaging winds would then become a concern in the vicinity of where the low eventually moves inland.
Even if development does not occur and winds are not an issue, residents of southeastern India and Sri Lanka should prepare for flash flooding.
Downpours will become increasingly more numerous into this weekend across southeastern India and Sri Lanka as the low approaches. Steadier and heavier rain will then accompany the low onshore Monday and Tuesday.
“Places from just north of Chennai to northern Sri Lanka are in store for a good soaking and at risk of flooding [late this weekend and early next week],” stated AccuWeather Meteorologist Rob Richards.
Rainfall within this zone, which is home to Chidambaram, India, and Jaffna, Colombo, will average 125-250 mm (5-10 inches). Totals will even reach or exceed 300 mm (12 inches). That is especially true where the low comes onshore, added Richards.
While latest indications keep the steadiest rain to the north, downpours also threaten to occasionally stream into Colombo, Sri Lanka, and cause flash flooding.
The one benefit to the downpours will be to help erase the slight rainfall deficit that southeastern India ended the monsoon with. Drier-than-normal conditions then persisted into October.
After moving inland, the low and the flash flood threat will shift to southwestern India, including Coimbatore, during the middle of next week. The low will then re-emerge back over water in the Arabian Sea, where further strengthening will have to be monitored. (Courtesy AccuWeather)