Tropical Cyclone Marian Intensifies to Equivalent of Hurricane/Typhoon

Tropical Cyclone Marian intensified to the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon over the South Indian Ocean southwest of Cocos Island on Saturday. At 10:00 a.m. EST on Saturday the center of Tropical Cyclone Marian was located at latitude 16.4°S and longitude 93.0°E which put it about 370 miles (595 km) southwest of Cocos Island. Marian was moving toward the southwest at 12 m.p.h. (19 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 976 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Marian continued to exhibit more organization on Saturday. An eye was visible at the center of Marian at times on satellite images. The eye was surrounded by a ring of strong thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms. Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Tropical Cyclone Marian. Storms near the core generated upper level divergence which pumped mass away from the tropical cyclone. Winds to hurricane/typhoon force extended out 30 miles (50 km) from the center of Marian. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 185 miles (295 km) from the center of circulation.

Tropical Cyclone Marian will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours. Marian will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures will be near 29°C. It will move under the western portion of an upper level ridge. The upper level winds will be weak during the next 24 hours and there will not be a lot of vertical wind shear. Tropical Cyclone Marian is likely to continue to intensify during the next 24 hours.

Tropical Cyclone Marian will move around the western part of a subtropical high pressure system. The high will steer Marian toward the southwest during the next 36 hours. On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Marian will move farther away from Cocos Island. Marian could recurve back toward Australia next week after it moves around the western end of the high pressure system.