Tropical Development Near Sri Lanka This Week

By Courtney Spamer, Meteorologist
December 5, 2013; 4:12 AM ET
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A low pressure in the Bay of Bengal spinning near Sri Lanka into Saturday will bring additional heavy rainfall to the region.

AccuWeather.com meteorologists have been monitoring this storm's development over the past few days. There is still a chance that this system could develop into an organized tropical cyclone as it begins to lift northward away from Sri Lanka late this week.

However, even before potentially becoming an organized tropical cyclone this storm will continue to bring heavy rains for Sri Lanka through Saturday. The nearly stationary storm has already brought heavy rainfall to southeast India and much of Sri Lanka.

The heaviest rainfall 150-300 mm (6-12 inches) is expected across the eastern half of the island. A few isolated areas, right along the coast from Trincomalee southward through Pottuvil, could receive more than 300 mm (12 inches) of total rain through Saturday.

The heaviest rainfall in these areas has already totaled over 150 mm (6 inches) this week.

Southeastern India could get some of this rain as well with 25-75 mm (1-3 inches) expected. However, with the storm staying rather stationary then lifting northward most of the rain will stay over eastern Sri Lanka and surrounding waters.

All this rain concentrated over Sri Lanka will bring the threat of flooding across the country. Heavy rains can lead to overflowing rivers and streams, water running over roadways and mudslides.

METEOSAT-7 Satellite from Tuesday morning, courtesy of UW-CIMSS.

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As this area of low pressure drifts northward late this week, it will move into a slightly more favorable area for development which could result in organization into a tropical cyclone.

This scenario would keep the tropical cyclone over the open waters of the Bay of Bengal through early next week.

Harsh wind shear would likely hinder any potential tropical cyclone the farther it moved across the Bay of Bengal and would likely result in a weakening tropical system as it may approach Myanmar next week.

Meteorologist Eric Leister contributed to this story.

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