Tropical Cyclone Eloise Strengthens over Mozambique Channel

Tropical Cyclone Eloise strengthened over the Mozambique Channel on Thursday. At 4:00 p.m. EST on Thursday the center of Tropical Cyclone Eloise was located at latitude 18.0°S and longitude 40.1°E which put it about 375 miles (605 km) east-northeast of Beira, Mozambique. Eloise was moving toward the west-southwest at 15 m.p.h. (24 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 989 mb.

After weakening on Wednesday while it passed over northern Madagascar, the circulation around Tropical Cyclone Eloise strengthened on Thursday. There was still a broad center of circulation in the middle of Eloise. However, a few more thunderstorms were forming inside the broad center. Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the center. The most recent satellite images indicated that the inner end of a rainband could be wrapping more tightly around the center of circulation. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 125 miles (200 km) from the center.

Tropical Cyclone Eloise will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours. Eloise will move over water in the Mozambique Channel where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C. It will move under the northern portion of an upper level ridge over the Southwest Indian Ocean. The ridge will produce easterly winds which will blow toward the top of the tropical cyclone. Those winds will cause some vertical wind shear but the shear will not be strong enough to prevent intensification. Tropical Cyclone Eloise will intensify during the next 24 hours and it is likely to strengthen into the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon.

Tropical Cyclone Eloise will move around the northwestern part of a high pressure system over the Southwest Indian Ocean during the next two days. The high will steer Eloise toward the west-southwest. On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Eloise could approach the coast of Mozambique near Beira in less than 36 hours. Eloise is likely to be the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon when it approaches the coast.