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DISCUSSION: As Tropical Cyclone Vardah made its official landfall in and around the city of Chennai, India just under 2 days ago, this strong tropical low pressure certainly made its presence known. At the time of landfall late Sunday night, TC Vardah had intensified up to the equivalent strength of a strong Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained wind speeds of roughly between 90 and 100 mph with some possibly higher gusts at times. Having said that, there was also a plethora of rainfall which caused widespread flooding and many instances fo flash flooding due to tremendous run-off of rainwater into valleys and cities/villages therein. Therefore, even by accounting for the increased international forecast coverage during the hours leading up to the landfall of TC Vardah, there were still some who did not appear to take this event as seriously as it should have been.
As you can seen in the eye-witness footage attached above (courtesy of Echants before being re-shared by the iCyclone team), this storm certainly packed quite a punch in the coastal areas of southeastern India as the strong winds associated with the inner eyewall convection tore through this region of the Subcontinent. This is a great example of why it is always so imperative to respect the power of these potentially life-threatening tropical cyclones and to always take real-time forecast information at its word without any debate.
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©2016 Meteorologist Jordan Rabinowitz