Tropical Cyclone Cebile Forms East of Diego Garcia

After a relatively quiet week in the tropics Tropical Cyclone Cebile formed east of Diego Garcia on Saturday.  At 4:00 p.m. EST on Saturday the center of Tropical Cyclone Cebile was located at latitude 12.1°S and longitude 84.2°E which put it about 870 miles (1405 km) east-southeast of Diego Garcia.  Cebile was moving toward the southwest at 7 m.p.h. (11 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 998 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Cebile organized rapidly on Saturday.  A primary rainband wrapped most of the way around the center of circulation and an elliptical eye appeared to be developing at the center.  Other bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Tropical Cyclone Cebile.  There were more thunderstorms in the western half of the circulation, but there were rainbands in all quadrants of Cebile.  Storms in the core of the circulation were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the tropical cyclone.  The removal of mass was causing the surface pressure to decrease and the wind speed to increase.

Tropical Cyclone Cebile will move through an environment favorable for intensification.  It will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C.  Cebile is moving just to the north of the axis of a subtropical ridge that runs east to west across the Southern Indian Ocean.  The northern half of the ridge is producing easterly winds which are blowing toward the top of the circulation, but the vertical wind shear is not too strong.  A combination of warm water and minimal vertical wind shear will allow Tropical Cyclone Cebile to strengthen and it could intensify rapidly.  Cebile is likely to strengthen into the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon during the next day or two.  Tropical Cyclone Cebile could intensify into the equivalent of a major hurricane during the next week.

The subtropical ridge is steering Tropical Cyclone Cebile toward the southwest and that general motion is expected to continue for several more days.  On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Cebile is expected to move southeast of Diego Garcia.