Tropical Cyclone Cilida quickly intensified into the equivalent of a major hurricane north of Mauritius on Thursday. At 10:00 p.m. EST on Thursday the center of Tropical Cyclone Cilida was located at latitude 14.5°N and longitude 58.0°E which put it about 410 miles (660 km) north of Port Louis, Mauritius. Cilida was moving toward the southwest at 8 m.p.h. (13 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 120 m.p.h. (195 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 150 m.p.h. (240 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 949 mb.
Tropical Cyclone Cilida intensified quickly on Thursday. A symmetrical, circular eye appeared more distinctly on satellite images. The eye was surrounded by a ring of strong thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms. Several bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Tropical Cyclone Cilida. Storms near the core of Cilida generated strong upper level divergence which pumped mass away from the tropical cyclone. The removal of mass allowed the surface pressure to decrease rapidly and the wind speed increased in response to a larger pressure gradient force. Winds to hurricane/typhoon force extended out about 35 miles (55 km) from the center of circulation. Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 120 miles (195 km) from the center.
Tropical Cyclone Cilida will move through an environment favorable for strong tropical cyclones during the next 24 to 36 hours. Cilida will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C. It will move through an area where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear. Tropical Cyclone Cilida will get stronger during the next day or so unless an eyewall replacement cycle begins. If a rainband wraps around the existing eyewall, then an eyewall replacement cycle could cause Cilida to weaken.
Tropical Cyclone Cilida will move around the western end of a subtropical ridge over the South Indian Ocean. The ridge is likely to steer Cilida toward the southwest for another 12 hours or so. Tropical Cyclone Cilida will move more toward the south when it reaches the western end of the ridge. In 36 to 48 hours Cilida will begin to be affected by the westerly winds in the middle latitudes and those winds will start to steer the tropical cyclone toward the southeast, On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Cilida could approach Mauritius in about 36 hours.
Elsewhere over the South Indian Ocean Tropical Cyclone Kenanga weakened slowly well to the southeast of Diego Garcia. At 10:00 p.m. EST on Thursday the center of Tropical Cyclone Kenanga was located at latitude 16.2°S and longitude 80.2°E which put it about 825 miles (1330 km) southeast of Diego Garcia. Kenanga was moving toward the west-northwest at 6 m.p.h. (10 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 95 m.p.h. (155 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 115 m.p.h. (185 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 965 mb.