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Tropical Threat to Increase India Flood Risk This Weekend

While Tropical Cyclone Megh is moving away from India, a new tropical threat is brewing in the Bay of Bengal and will increase the flood risk in southeastern India and Sri Lanka into this weekend.

The AccuWeather Tropical Cyclone Center will be keeping a close eye on a developing area of low pressure in the southern Bay of Bengal into this weekend.

After taking shape, the low is expected to track westward toward southeastern India and Sri Lanka. The combination of a lack of strong wind shear and warm waters could allow the low to develop tropically with winds of around 55 km/h (35 mph). Such winds could lead to localized damage in the vicinity of where the low eventually comes onshore.

Regardless of development, downpours will become increasingly more numerous into this weekend across southeastern India and Sri Lanka as the low approaches, then moves inland around the late Sunday to Monday time frame. The threat for flash flooding, as a result, will be on the rise.

The potential exists for some communities to be inundated with 120-250 mm (5-10 inches) of rain. The majority of the rainfall and the most widespread flood threat will be later in the weekend and Monday.

Locally higher rainfall amounts are possible, especially if the low strengthens and/or moves slowly.

Cities at risk for the upcoming flooding downpours include Chennai and Chidambaram, India, and Jaffna and Colombo, Sri Lanka.

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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, early next week. The low will then re-emerge back over water in the Arabian Sea, where further strengthening will have to be monitored.