Tropical Cyclone Luban Forms Over Arabian Sea

Tropical Cyclone Luban formed over the Arabian Sea on Monday.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Monday the center of Tropical Cyclone Luban was located at latitude 12.3°N and longitude 61.4°E which put it about 580 miles (935 km) east-southeast of Salalah, Oman.  Luban was moving toward the west-northwest at 4 m.p.h. (6 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 993 mb.

The circulation around Tropical Cyclone Luban was still organizing.  The distribution of thunderstorms was asymmetrical.  Many of the stronger thunderstorms were occurring in bands west of the center of circulation.  Rainbands in the eastern half of Tropical Cyclone Luban consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds.  An upper level trough centered over northern India was producing easterly winds which were blowing toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds were causing moderate vertical wind shear and they were probably the reason why the stronger thunderstorms were forming on the western side of the circulation.

Tropical Cyclone Luban will move through a region that is somewhat favorable for intensification.  It will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  The upper level ridge will continue to cause some vertical wind shear, but the winds are expected to weaken during the next day or two.  Tropical Cyclone Luban is forecast to strengthen into the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon.

Tropical Cyclone Luban is between the upper level ridge over India and another upper level ridge over Saudi Arabia.  As a result the steering winds are weak and Luban is moving slowly toward the west-northwest.  When Tropical Cyclone Luban moves farther west, the upper ridge over Saudi Arabia will steer it in a west-northwesterly direction.  On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Luban could approach western Oman and eastern Yemen in four or five days.