Tropical Cyclone Desmond formed over the Mozambique Channel on Sunday. At 4:00 p.m. EST on Sunday the center of Tropical Cyclone Desmond was located at latitude 21.3°S and longitude 39.0°E which put it about 250 miles (400 km) south-southeast of Quelimane, Mozambique. Desmond was moving toward the north at 6 m.p.h. (10 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 997 mb.
Thunderstorms developed closer to the center of a low pressure system over the Mozambique Channel on Sunday and the system was designated Tropical Cyclone Desmond. The distribution of thunderstorms around Desmond was very asymmetrical. Most of the stronger thunderstorms were occurring in bands southeast of the center of circulation. Bands in other parts of the circulation consisted of showers and lower clouds. An upper level trough just southeast of Africa was producing northwesterly winds which were blowing toward the top of Tropical Cyclone Desmond. Those winds were causing moderate vertical wind shear and they were probably the reason for the asymmetrical distribution of thunderstorms.
Tropical Cyclone Desmond will move through an environment somewhat favorable for intensification during the next 24 to 36 hours. Desmond will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C. The upper level trough is forecast to move eastward and the vertical wind shear could decrease. Tropical Cyclone Desmond could strengthen when the shear decreases, if it is still over water.
Tropical Cyclone Desmond will move around the eastern end of a subtropical ridge in the middle levels over southern Africa. The ridge should steer Desmond in a north-northwesterly direction. On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Desmond will move toward Mozambique and it could make landfall within 36 hours. However, there is another low pressure system near northern Madagascar. If the circulations of the two low pressure systems interact, then Desmond could be pulled farther to the north.