Tropical Cyclone Alicia Develops East of Diego Garcia

Tropical Cyclone Alicia developed east of Diego Garcia on Friday. At 10:00 p.m. EST on Friday the center of Tropical Cyclone Alicia was located at latitude 7.8°N and longitude 79.1°E which put it about 495 miles (795 km) east of Diego Garcia. Alicia was moving toward the west-southwest at 23 m.p.h. (37 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 991 mb.

The circulation around a low pressure system east of Diego Garcia exhibited more organization on Friday and the system was designated as Tropical Cyclone Alicia. The inner end of a rainband wrapped around the western and northern sides of the center of circulation. Other bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the center of Alicia. Storms near the center generated upper level divergence which pumped mass away from the tropical storm. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 130 miles (210 km) from the center of circulation.

Tropical Cyclone Alicia will move through an environment that will be favorable for intensification during the next 36 hours. Alicia will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C. Alicia will be under an upper level ridge where the winds are weaker and there will be little vertical wind shear. Tropical Cyclone Alicia could strengthen into the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon within 36 hours.

Tropical Cyclone Alicia will move around the western end of a high pressure system over the southeastern Indian Ocean. The high will steer Alicia toward the south-southwest during the next several days. On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Alicia will pass southeast of Diego Garcia and east of Rodrigues.

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