Fox News Weather Center

Strengthening cyclone to elevate flood threat across India after displacing over 100,000 in Sri Lanka

The first tropical cyclone of the season in the Bay of Bengal has caused devastation for thousands in Sri Lanka.

The cyclone wreaked havoc across Sri Lanka, producing deadly flooding and mudslides. Meanwhile, intense rainfall will continue in India, elevating the flood threat the next few days.

At least 27 people have been killed in Sri Lanka with more than 200 families still missing following a series of mudslides, according to the Associated Press. More than 130,000 families have been displaced by the cyclone.

Rainfall has surpassed 300 mm (12 inches) across parts of Sri Lanka, including the capital city of Colombo. Nearly 500 mm (20 inches) has fallen in Mahailluppallama since rain began to fall over the weekend.

In India, the heaviest rainfall has slammed Kerala and Tamil Nadu, creating widespread flooding and travel delays.

Conditions will improve in Chennai on Thursday and Friday as drier weather returns and flood waters recede. Rainfall has already surpassed 150 mm (6 inches) in the city.

The strengthening cyclone will track north to northeast along the coast of Andhra Pradesh on Thursday and Friday. The storm will then take a sharp turn to the northeast, tracking into Bangladesh and Myanmar this weekend.

This track will result in torrential rainfall across coastal regions of Andhra Pradesh where widespread rainfall of 100-200 mm (4-8 inches) is expected through Friday. Local amounts of 300 mm (12 inches) or more are possible, which would produce dangerous flooding and bring travel to a standstill.

Once the system reaches Cyclonic Storm status with sustained winds of 62 km/h (39 mph) or greater, it will be named Roanu.

Downpours may extend into coastal Odisha depending on the exact track of the cyclone. A track closer to the coast could bring 100 mm (4 inches) or more of rainfall to areas as far north of Puri, with occasional downpours hitting Balasore.

At peak intensity, the cyclone is expected to pack winds of 80-96 km/h (50-60 mph); however, wind gusts at the coast are more likely to peak at 50-65 km/h (30-40 mph) from Ongole to Visakhapatnam.

Despite the cyclone moving away from Sri Lanka, additional rain will continue to fall across Kerala and the western part of the country into Saturday. Drenching rain has caused flooding in these areas and additional rainfall will continue the threat of flooding and mudslides.

While dangerous, the early-season rainfall will alleviate some concerns over the lack rain during last year's monsoon season in Kerala.