Tropical Cyclone Cebile Meanders South of Diego Garcia

Tropical Cyclone Cebile has meandered south of Diego Garcia throughout this week.  At 4:00 p.m. EST on Thursday the center of Tropical Cyclone Cebile was located at latitude 16.2°S and longitude 75.8°E which put it about 655 miles (1055 km) south-southeast of Diego Garcia.  Cebile was moving toward the southwest at 5 m.p.h. (8 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 125 m.p.h. (205 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 155 m.p.h. (250 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 949 mb.

Although it completed at least one eyewall replacement cycle, Tropical Cyclone Cebile maintains an impressive structure.  There is a circular eye at the center of circulation.  The eye is surrounded by a ring of strong thunderstorms and the strongest winds are occurring in that ring of storms.  Several rainbands are revolving around the core of the circulation.  The storms in the core are generating upper level divergence which is pumping mass away.  Winds to hurricane/typhoon force extend out about 60 miles (95 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extend out about 250 miles (400 km) from the center.

Tropical Cyclone Cebile remains in an environment favorable for strong tropical cyclones.  It is moving over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is generally near 28°C.  However, Cebile has moved slowly during the past several days and its circulation may have mixed cooler water to the surface in some locations.  The upper level winds are currently weak and there is little vertical wind shear.  Tropical Cyclone Cebile could maintain its intensity for another 24 to 36 hours unless it mixes more cool water to the surface.  An upper level trough approaching from the west will increase the vertical wind shear in a day or two and Cebile could weaken more quickly when that occurs.

Cebile is moving near the western end of a subtropical ridge which has been steering the tropical slowly toward the southwest.  The approaching upper level trough will begin to steer Tropical Cyclone Cebile more toward the southeast in a day or two.  On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Cebile is forecast to move farther away from Diego Garcia.