Tropical Cyclone 05B forms southeast of Chennai, India

December 11, 2009

Tropical Cyclone 05B has formed out of "System 96B" in the Northern Indian Ocean and is forecast to approach southeastern India by Sunday, December 13 and make landfall on Monday.

On Friday, December 11 at 15:00 UTC (10 a.m. ET or 8 p.m. local Asia/ Kolkata time in Chennai, India), Tropical Storm 05B had maximum sustained winds near 40 mph. It was located about 370 nautical miles southeast of Chennai, India, near 9.3 North latitude and 85.1 East longitude. It was moving north-northeast near 7mph, but is expected to gradually turn west and head for landfall.

Today, the Tropical Storm 05B is in an area of low wind shear, so it can continue to intensify. The only thing currently in 05B's path is a strong zonal jet stream over central India, but forecasters expect that to lift north in the next two days, and that means 05B can strengthen. Tropical Storm 05B is projected to turn west in the Bay of Bengal and make landfall in the state of Tamil Nadu by December 14.

The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite captured Tropical Storm 05B on Dec. 10 southeast of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Infrared imagery shows temperatures and the colder the cloud tops of thunderstorms in a tropical cyclone are the higher they are, and the stronger they are. The imagery from AIRS indicated some strong thunderstorms in Tropical Storm 05B.

Residents along the coast of southeastern India in the Tamil Nadu state should make preparations. Some cities that may be affected by heavy rains and gusty winds include: Chennai, Thanjavur, Mahabalipuram, Chengalpattu, Maraimalai Nagar, Mudichur, Madhurantakam and others in that region.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecasts Tropical Storm 05B to make landfall south of Chennai before 12:00 UTC or 5 p.m. local Asia/Kolkata time on Monday, December 14.
-end-


NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

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