Gulf Coast Hurricane Tracker

A single source reference on tropical weather predictions. With a traditional focus on the upper Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast we've maintained links to track all Atlantic Basin, Caribbean and eastern Pacific storm systems. We are now expanding our view to tropical storms throughout the world intending to be a comprehensive global storm tracking resource.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Tropical Storm WARD turns sharply to the west

Tropical Cyclone Ward made a sharp turn towards the west. Now the storm is on a west southwestward track for a likely landfall in central Sri Lanka, cross the island and then make a second landfall at the southern tip of India.
Ward moved from the warmest waters in the region at 30 C which will make strengthening unlikely even though wind shear is decreasing along the storm's path.. Ward is expected to remain at Tropical Storm strength as it approaches land.
Cyclone Ward barrelling in towards TN coast  (Hindu Business Line)
Friday's tropical cyclone, 'Ward', over the south-west and adjoining south-east Bay of Bengal has decisively taken a turn to the west, shaping it up for a landfall over coastal Tamil Nadu.
Satellite imagery available on Saturday evening indicated that 'Ward' may have lost some of its intensity as it left behind the warmest waters (30 degree Celsius) to the comparatively cooler (28 degree Celsius) as it moved west overnight and closer towards the Tamil Nadu coast.
But this is still above the threshold limit of 27.5 degree Celsius needed for a tropical cyclone to hold itself together.
India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in its outlook late on Saturday evening that 'Ward' weakened slightly but lay as a cyclonic storm more or less unchanged from its bearing overnight, about 350 km north-east of Batticaloa (Sri Lanka), 450 km east-southeast of Nagapattinam and 500 km south-east of Chennai.
The system is likely to move in a westerly direction and cross the Tamil Nadu coast between Nagapattinam and Pamban by Sunday night.
This could raise the spectre of massive storm surge along the Nagapattinam coast whose low incline has been notoriously known to harbour buster waves ahead of storms hurrying their way in.
After landfall, the weakened 'Ward' and its remnant circulation is shown to track straight west into the Tamil Nadu hinterland and empty its contents over Pudukkottai and Dindigul before wading into central Kerala.
Advisory from India Meteorological Department:(
The cyclonic storm 'WARD' over southwest Bay of Bengal moved southwards and weakened into a deep depression over the same region. It lay centred at 2330 hours IST of yesterday, 12th December 2009 near lat. 9.50 N and long. 83.50 E, about 350 km east-northeast of Jaffna (Sri Lanka), 400 km southeast of Nagapattinam and 450 km east-northeast of Pamban. The system is likely to move in a west-southwesterly direction and cross north Sri Lanka near Lat. 9.00 N around noon of today, the 13th December, 2009. It is then likely to emerge into Gulf of Mannar and cross south Tamil Nadu coast between Kanyakumari and Pamban around night of 13th December, 2009.

N Indian Ocean: Storm Alert issued at 12 Dec, 2009 18:00 GMT
Tropical Storm WARD (05B) is forecast to strike land to the following likelihood(s) at the given lead time(s):
Yellow Alert Country(s) or Province(s)
    Sri Lanka
        probability for TS is 70% within 12 hours
Yellow Alert City(s) and Town(s)
    Trincomalee (8.6 N, 81.2 E)
        probability for TS is 65% within 12 hours
    Batticaloa (7.7 N, 81.7 E)
        probability for TS is 65% within 12 hours

Green Alert City(s) and Town(s)
    Colombo (6.9 N, 80.0 E)
        probability for TS is 40% in about 24 hours

Note that
    Yellow Alert (Elevated) is CAT 1 or above to between 10% and 30% probability, or TS to above 50% probability.
    Green Alert (Low) is TS to between 31% and 50% probability.
    CAT 1 means Severe Cyclonic Storm strength winds of at least 74 mph, 119 km/h or 64 knots 1-min sustained.
    TS means Tropical Storm strength winds of at least 39 mph, 63 km/h or 34 knots 1-min sustained.

For graphical forecast information and further details please visit

This alert is provided by Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) which is sponsored by UCL, Aon Benfield, Royal & SunAlliance, Crawford & Company and Aon Benfield UCL Hazard Research Centre. TSR acknowledges the support of the UK Met Office.

2010 Atlantic Hurricanes (courtesy of

NOAA Gulf of Mexico Radar (courtesy of

NOAA West Atlantic & Caribbean Radar (courtesy of

NOAA East Atlantic Radar (courtesy of