AccuWeather.com reports India is set to take a devastating blow from Severe Tropical Cyclone Phailin this weekend.
Destructive winds over 160 kph (100 mph), flooding rain of 100-200 mm (4-8 inches), and a crippling storm surge of 4-6 meters (14-20 feet) are all likely near the landfall point of Phailin which is expected across northeastern India on Saturday.
Anyone residing in the states of Odisha or eastern Andhra Pradesh is encouraged to take proper precautions and prepare for life-threatening conditions.
While the western Pacific Ocean has produced 25 named tropical cyclones so far this year, the northern Indian Ocean has only seen one named tropical cyclone until Phailin.
The combination of very warm ocean waters and relatively low wind shear will aid in both development and the continued strengthening of this tropical cyclone through Friday.
A track toward the northwest is expected and Phailin will churn toward northeast India through Friday with further strengthening expected. Phailin has the potential to strengthen into the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane or a super typhoon prior to landfall.
In the Indian Ocean, all storms that reach tropical storm strength are referred to as tropical cyclones and they retain that name regardless of how strong they become. Once they reach the intensity of a hurricane or typhoon, they are referred to as “severe tropical cyclones.”
This powerful tropical cyclone is then expected to thrash eastern India, specifically in an area from Visakhapatnam to Brahmapur later Friday through Saturday. This area is home to millions of people, and it appears likely that a portion of this area will face life-threatening conditions this weekend.
After making landfall in northeastern India on Saturday, Phailin will track northwestward through interior India and weaken Sunday into Monday. However, heavy rain of up to several inches could still fall well inland from the coastline causing some flooding through Monday.