Tropical Cyclone Vardah

Tropical Cyclone Vardah

08 December 2016 00:00 UTC–19 December 06:00 UTC

Tropical Cyclone Vardah
Tropical Cyclone Vardah

Using Meteosat-8 imagery it was possible to track the full lifetime of Tropical Cyclone Vardah.

Last Updated

22 September 2022

Published on

07 December 2016

By HansPeter Roesli (Switzerland) and Jochen Kerkmann (EUMETSAT)

Vardah was born from convective clusters west of the Little Andaman island. From 8 to 12 December it crossed the Gulf of Bengal on a straight track at the latitude of Chennai, India, where it made landfall on 12 December. At least seven people were reported to have died and thousands were displaced as a result of the storm.

The sequence of IR10.8 images shows the cyclic outbreak of severe convection (cloud tops as cold as 180 K), with a longer hiatus early on 10 December.

Figure 1: Meteosat-8 infrared animation, 8 December 00:00 UTC–19 December 06:00 UTC
 Met-8 HRV, 15 Dec 05:00–10:00 UTC (animated gif)
Figure 2: Meteosat-8 HRV, 15 December 05:00–10:00 UTC

Interestingly, after making landfall in eastern India, Vardah crossed the Indian Subcontinent from east to west, surviving the land impact, and re-emerged on the other side of India.

On 15 December, the low-level circulation centre (LLCC) of Vardah is well seen on the animated gif of Meteosat-8 High Resolution Visible (HRV) images (Figure 2).

In the following days, Vardah moved westwards at constant speed, as can be seen from the the track (Figure 3), not gaining any strength (it did not reach hurricane force), but with a persisting LLCC.

Finally, on 18/19 December, it reached the east coast of Africa making its second landfall, this time in Somalia, see the Meteosat-8 Natural Colour RGB (Figure 4), where it probably caused widespread rainfalls (assumed due to lack of available rainfall data).

 Met-8 VIS0.8, 19 Dec 06:00 UTC
Figure 3: Meteosat-8 VIS0.8, 19 December 06:00 UTC. Track of Vardah, 8–19 December overlaid (Credit: ePort).
 Met-8 Natural Colour RGB, 19 Dec, 06:00 UTC
Figure 4: Meteosat-8 Natural Colour RGB, 19 December 06:00 UTC. Credit: ePort.

Additional content

Himawari-8 animation of the cyclone making landfall (Credit: CIRA Loop of the Day )
Cyclone Vardah: Several dead as storm lashes Indian coast (BBC News)