Tropical Cyclone Alcide Stalls East of Madgascar

Tropical Cyclone Alcide stalled east of northern Madagascar on Friday.  At 4:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Tropical Cyclone Alcide was located at latitude 13.4°N and longitude 53.1°E which put it about 250 miles (400 km) east of Antisiranana, Madagascar.  Alcide was moving toward the south at 4 m.p.h. (6 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 95 m.p.h. (155 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 978 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Alcide weakened during the past 36 hours.  An eye is no longer apparent on visible satellite images, although an eyelike feature persists on microwave satellite images.  There are breaks in the ring of thunderstorms surrounding the eye.  Winds to hurricane/typhoon force are occurring in the broken ring of storms.  Alcide moved very slowly during the past day or so.  Its slow movement may have allowed its winds to mix cooler water to the surface of the ocean.  If there is cooler water at the surface, then there is less energy available to support the circulation of Tropical Cyclone Alcide.  The circulation of Alcide remains relatively small.  Winds to tropical storm force extend out about 100 miles (160 km) from the center of circulation.

Tropical Cyclone Alcide is in an area where the steering currents are weak.  Alcide could meander over the same area for another day or so.  If it remains over the same cooler water, then Alcide will slowly weaken further.  As the circulation gets weaker, thunderstorms will not rise as high into the atmosphere and Tropical Cyclone Alcide will be steered by winds at lower levels.  If Alcide eventually moves over warmer water, and the upper level winds are not too strong, then new thunderstorms could develop.

Tropical Cyclone Alcide is not forecast to move much during the next 24 hours.  In a day or so the winds in the lower and middle troposphere are forecast to begin to steer Alcide in a more westerly direction.  On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Alcide could move closer to northern Madagascar on Sunday.