Tropical Cyclone Faraji intensified to the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale over the South Indian Ocean on Monday. At 4:00 p.m. EST on Monday the center of Tropical Cyclone Faraji was located at latitude 14.2°S and longitude 82.8°E which put it about 835 miles (1350 km) southeast of Diego Garcia. Faraji was moving toward the east at 6 m.p.h. (10 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 160 m.p.h. (260 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 195 m.p.h. (315 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 927 mb.
Tropical Cyclone Faraji intensified to the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane southeast of Diego Garcia on Monday. A circular eye with a diameter of 23 miles (37 km) was at the center of Faraji. The eye was surrounded by a ring of strong thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that rings of storms. Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Tropical Cyclone Faraji. Storms near the core generated upper level divergence which pumped mass away from the tropical cyclone.
The circulation around Tropical Cyclone Faraji was very symmetrical. Winds to hurricane/typhoon force extended out 35 miles (55 km) from the center of Faraji. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 150 miles (240 km) from the center of circulation. The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Tropical Cyclone Faraji was 35.0. The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 11.2 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 46.2.
Tropical Cyclone Faraji will move through an environment capable of supporting a strong tropical cyclone during the next 24 hours. Faraji will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C. It will move under the axis of an upper level ridge over the southeastern Indian Ocean. The winds are weak near the axis of the ridge and there will be little vertical wind shear. Tropical Cyclone Faraji will likely continue to be the equivalent of a major hurricane during the next 24 hours. If the inner end of a rainband wraps around the existing eye and eyewall, then an eyewall replacement cycle could cause Faraji to weaken.
Tropical Cyclone Faraji will move around the southwestern part of a high pressure system over the southeastern Indian Ocean. The high will steer Faraji toward the east during the next 24 to 36 hours. On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Faraji will move farther away from Diego Garcia.