Tropical Cyclone Alcide Rapidly Intensifies Into Equivalent of Hurricane/Typhoon

Tropical Cyclone Alcide rapidly intensified into the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon east of northern Madagascar on Wednesday.  At 10:00 a.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Tropical Cyclone Alcide was located at latitude 10.6°S and longitude 55.7°W which put it about 675 miles (975 km) north of Port Louis, Mauritius.  Alcide was moving toward the west-southwest at 11 m.p.h. (17 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 85 m.p.h. (135 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 105 m.p.h. (170 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 972 mb.

The circulation around Tropical Cyclone Alcide organized rapidly during the past 24 hours.  An eye formed at the center of circulation.  A ring of strong thunderstorms surrounded the eye and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Several bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Alcide.  Storm near the core were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the tropical cyclone.

The circulation around Tropical Cyclone Alcide is relatively small.  Winds to hurricane/typhoon force extend out about 25 miles (40 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extend out about 80 miles (130 km) from the center.

Tropical Cyclone Alcide will move through an environment capable of supporting further intensification during the next 48 hours.  Alcide will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 27°C.  It will move near the western end of an upper level ridge.  The ridge will produce easterly winds which will blow toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds will cause some vertical wind shear, but the shear will not prevent intensification.  Tropical Cyclone Alcide could strengthen to the equivalent of a major hurricane during the next day or two.

The upper level ridge will steer Tropical Cyclone Alcide in a west-southwesterly direction.  On its anticipated track Alcide would stay north of Mauritius and La Reunion.  Tropical Cyclone Alcide could be east of northern Madagascar in a few days.