Cyclone Ward is likely to cross Tamil Nadu coast between Kanyakumari and Nagapattinam around night on Sunday, the Indian Meteorological Department said.
The cyclone, currently centred around 400 km from Nagapattinam, is expected to move in a West Southwesterly direction and cross North Sri Lanka around noon on Sunday.
"It will then emerge into Gulf of Mannar and cross Tamil Nadu coast Sunday night," an official said.
According to him, rainfall is expected over coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry over next 48 hours.
Squally winds at speed reaching 55-65 kmph are likely along the coast during the next 48 hours.
As the sea will be rough, fishermen are advised against venturing into the waters.
Meanwhile, the district administration in Nagapattinam and Kanyakumari are on high alert and gearing up relief measures.