Using Meteosat-8 imagery it was possible to track the full lifetime of Tropical Cyclone Vardah.
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 Dec 00:00 UTC–19 Dec 06:00 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).
Track of Vardah, 8–19 Dec overlaid (source: ePort)
Himawari-8 animation of the cyclone making landfall (MP4, 8 MB) (Source: CIRA Loop of the Day)
Cyclone Vardah: Several dead as storm lashes Indian coast (BBC News)
Cyclone Vardah roars over India with heavy rain, flooding (Accuweather)