Tropical Cyclone Cilida Passes East of Mauritius

Strong Tropical Cyclone Cilida passed east of Mauritius on Saturday night.  At 10:00 p.m. EST on Saturday the center of Tropical Cyclone Cilida was located at latitude 20.2°S and longitude 60.3°E which put it about 170 miles (275 km) east of Port Louis, Mauritius.  Cilida was moving toward the south-southeast at 12 m.p.h. (19 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 115 m.p.h. (185 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 145 m.p.h. (230 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 953 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Cilida was being steered to the south-southeast between an upper level trough near Madagascar and a subtropical ridge over the South Indian Ocean.  Those weather systems steered Cilida east of Mauritius.  Northwesterly winds blowing on the eastern side of the upper level trough were causing vertical wind shear.  Tropical Cyclone Cilida was weakening, but it was still the equivalent of a major hurricane.  There was a circular eye at the center of Cilida.  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.

Winds to hurricane/typhoon force extended out about 45 miles (75 km) from the center of Tropical Cyclone Cilida.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 115 miles (185 km) from the center.  Cilida passed far enough to the east of Mauritius that the strongest winds remained offshore.  A weather station at Belle Mare on the east coast of Mauritius reported a maximum wind speed of 38 m.p.h. (61 km/h).  An automated weather station on Signal Mountain reported a maximum wind speed of 49 m.p.h. (79 km/h).  Tropical Cyclone Cilida probably brought winds to tropical storm force to Mauritius, especially at higher elevations.

The stronger rainbands around Tropical Cyclone Cilida also passed east of Mauritius.  Cilida dropped light rain over most of Mauritius.  Heavier rain did fall over locations where the wind blew up the slopes of ridges and mountains.  1.44 inches (36.6 mm) of rain fell at Mon Bois and 1.31 inches (33.4 mm) fell at Mare Aux Vacoas.

The upper level trough over Madagascar will continue to steer Tropical Cyclone Cilida toward the south-southeast.  On its anticipated track Cilida will move farther away from Mauritius.  Tropical Cyclone Cilida will continue to weaken as it moves over cooler Sea Surface Temperatures and the vertical wind shear increases.