Diwali celebrations may be at risk as Kyant charges toward India with torrential rainfall
By By Eric Leister, Meteorologist
October 27, 2016, 6:07:09 AM EDT
For the latest on Kyant, you will be directed to our latest forecast.
Cyclonic Storm Kyant will unleash heavy rain and strong winds on areas from western Myanmar to northeast India and Bangladesh this week.
The storm could put Diwali celebrations at risk over the weekend.
Prior to Kyant, the northern Indian Ocean did not have a named cyclone since May.
The newly formed storm will continue to track westward through Wednesday, moving farther into the open Bay of Bengal but toward eastern India.
Kyant is expected to strengthen slowly over the next several days as it remains over the open ocean.
Despite strengthening, the worst conditions will remain over the Bay of Bengal where torrential rain and strong winds will be a danger to any boats in the area.
No significant impacts to land are expected through at least Wednesday.
Rain could begin to fall in areas from Kolkata and southern Bangladesh and southward to Puri as early as Wednesday, even as the center of the tropical system remains well to the south.
The rain will expand southward along the coast of India on Thursday and Thursday night with locally heavy rainfall possible.
The worst conditions are expected from Friday into Saturday as the storm approaches the coast of India between Visakhapatnam and Chennai. Locally damaging winds will be possible with gusts over 80 km/h (50 mph) within 120 km (75 mi) of where the storm makes landfall.
The storm may stall near the coast through the weekend as it weakens slowly and continues to unleash flooding rainfall near the coast of eastern India.
Widespread heavy rainfall will elevate the risk for flooding as rainfall totals 75-150 mm (3-6 inches) localized amounts over 200 mm (8 inches).
Areas at highest risk for flooding include Kakinada, Ongole and Nellore.
"While rainfall is possible in Chennai, widespread significant flooding is not expected," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls.
Kyant could impact Diwali festivities across eastern India due to rain and wind. The festival runs from 28 October to 1 November.
A separate surge of tropical moisture in the eastern Bay of Bengal could result in another tropical system forming late this week or early next week, but regardless of development, heavy rainfall will be possible from Myanmar northward into Bangladesh and northeastern India.
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