Tropical Cyclone 01A Forms Over the Gulf of Aden

Tropical Cyclone 01A formed over the Gulf of Aden on Wednesday.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Tropical Cyclone 01A was located at latitude 13.0°N and longitude 48.6°E which put it about 265 miles (425 km) east of Aden, Yemen.  It was moving toward the west at 7 m.p.h. (11 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 995 mb.

A distinct low level center of circulation developed in an area of showers and thunderstorms that moved from the Arabian Sea to the Gulf of Aden.  Several bands of stronger thunderstorms formed west of the center of circulation and the strongest winds were occurring in these bands.  Bands in the eastern half of the circulation consisted primarily of low clouds and showers.  The storms west of the center were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the tropical cyclone.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 60 miles (95 km) from the center of circulation.

Tropical Cyclone 01A will move through an environment somewhat favorable for intensification during the next 24 to 36 hours.  It will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  Tropical Cyclone 01A is moving south of an upper level ridge.  The ridge is producing westerly winds which were blowing toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds may be part of the reason why the stronger thunderstorms are occurring on the western side of the center  The winds are causing some vertical wind shear, but the shear is not likely to be strong enough to prevent intensification.  Tropical Cyclone 01A is likely to strengthen as long as it stays over the Gulf of Aden and it could intensify into the equivalent of a hurricane.  Much drier air is over the Arabian Peninsula and over eastern Africa.  Tropical Cyclone 01A will likely weaken when it moves closer to land and starts to pull drier air into the circulation.

The upper level ridge is steering Tropical Cyclone 01A toward the west.  The ridge is forecast to strengthen and to steer the tropical cyclone a little to the south of west during the next several days.  On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone 01A is expected to remain over the Gulf of Aden for several more days.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms could bring locally heavy rain to coastal portions of Yemen and northern parts of Somalia.

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