Tropical Cyclone Guambe Strengthens to Equivalent of Hurricane/Typhoon

Tropical Cyclone Guambe strengthened to the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon over the Mozambique Channel on Friday. At 4:00 p.m. EST on Friday the center of Tropical Cyclone Guambe was located at latitude 25.4°S and longitude 36.4°E which put it about 260 miles (415 km) east of Maputo, Mozambique. Guambe was moving toward the south-southwest at 4 m.p.h. (6 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 100 m.p.h. (160 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 120 m.p.h. (195 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 958 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Guambe continued to intensify over the warm water in the Mozambique Channel on Friday. A small circular eye with a diameter of 8 miles (13 km) was present at the center of Guambe. The eye was surrounded by a ring of strong thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms. Storms near the core of Tropical Cyclone Guambe generated upper level divergence which pumped mass away from the tropical cyclone. Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Guambe.

The circulation around Tropical Cyclone Guambe was relatively small. Winds to hurricane/typhoon force extended out 30 miles (50 km) from the center of Guambe. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 175 miles (280 km) on the eastern side of the circulation. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 100 miles (160 km) on the western side of the circulation. The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Tropical Cyclone Guambe was 16.5. The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 11.5 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 28.0.

Tropical Cyclone Guambe will move into an environment that will be favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours. Guambe will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C. It will move under the center of an upper level ridge. The winds are weak near the center of the ridge and there will be little vertical wind shear. Tropical Cyclone Guambe could strengthen into the equivalent of a major hurricane during the next 24 hours. If the inner end of a rainband wraps around the existing small eye and eyewall, then an eyewall replacement cycle could cause Guambe to weaken.

Tropical Cyclone Guambe will move around the western side of a subtropical high pressure system over the South Indian Ocean. The high will steer Guambe slowly toward the south during the next 24 hours. On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Guambe will move parallel to the coast of Mozambique. The center of Guambe is forecast to remain over the Mozambique Channel, but rainbands on the western side of the tropical cyclone could bring gusty winds and heavy rain to parts of the coast of southern Mozambique.