Tropical Cyclone Vayu Strengthens to Equivalent of Hurricane/Typhoon

Tropical Cyclone Vayu strengthened into the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon over the eastern Arabian Sea on Tuesday.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Tropical Cyclone Vayu was located at latitude 16.4°N and longitude 70.8°E which put it about 200 miles (320 km) southwest of Mumbai, India.  Vayu was moving toward the north at 10 m.p.h. (16 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 90 m.p.h. (150 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 974 mb.

Microwave satellite imagery indicated that an inner rainband had wrapped completely around the center of circulation and a small eye had formed at the center of Tropical Cyclone Vayu.  The core of Vayu was relatively small.  Winds to hurricane/typhoon force only extended out about 20 miles (30 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 100 miles (160 km) from the center.  Storms around the core of Tropical Cyclone Vayu were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass to the west of the tropical cyclone.  Additional bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Vayu.

Tropical Cyclone Vayu will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 24 to 36 hours.  Vayu will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  Tropical Cyclone Vayu will move near the southwestern portion of an upper level ridge.  The ridge will produce southeasterly winds which will blow toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds will cause some vertical wind shear, but the shear will not be strong enough to prevent intensification.  Tropical Cyclone Vayu will intensify during the next 24 to 36 hours.  It could intensify rapidly once the eye and eyewall are fully formed.  Vayu could strengthen into the equivalent of a major hurricane.

Tropical Cyclone Vayu will move around the western end of a ridge over India.  The ridge will steer Vayu toward the north.  On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Vayu could approach the coast of Gujarat within 36 hours.  Vayu could be the equivalent of a major hurricane by that time.  It could bring strong winds and locally heavy rain to Gujarat.  Heavy rain could cause flash floods.  Tropical Cyclone Vayu could also generate a significant storm surge along the coast of Gujarat.