Tropical Cyclone Vayu Slows Near Gujarat Coast

Tropical Cyclone Vayu slowed near the coast of Gujarat on Wednesday.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Tropical Cyclone Vayu was located at latitude 20.4°N and longitude 69.1°E which put it about 85 miles (135 km) south-southwest of Porbandar, India.  Vayu was moving toward the north-northwest at 8 m.p.h. (13 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 100 m.p.h. (160 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 120 m.p.h. (195 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 962 mb.

The circulation around Tropical Cyclone Vayu weakened slightly on Wednesday, although the inner core appeared to remain mostly intact.  The circulation seemed to pull some drier air over India into the eastern and northern portions of Vayu.  Outer rainbands weakened in those parts of the tropical cyclone.  The drier air did not appear to have penetrated the inner core of the circulation.  A tiny eye remained at the center of circulation.  A ring of showers and thunderstorms surrounded the eye and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Bands of strong thunderstorms in the southern half of the circulation were revolving around the core of Tropical Cyclone Vayu.  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 Vayu will move through an environment that will be mainly favorable for a tropical cyclone during the next 24 to 48 hours.  Vayu will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  It will move near the axis of an upper level ridge where winds are weaker and there will be less vertical wind shear.  The drier air being pulled into the circulation from over India will be a factor that could inhibit any additional strengthening of Tropical Cyclone Vayu.  Vayu could strengthen during the next 24 hours, but it is more likely to maintain its intensity or weaken slightly.  If drier air mixes into the inner core of the circulation, then Tropical Cyclone Vayu could weaken more quickly.

Tropical Cyclone Vayu will move around the western end of a ridge over India during the next 12 to 24 hours.  The ridge will steer Vayu toward the north-northwest on Thursday.  A second ridge will develop north of Tropical Cyclone Vayu.  The second ridge will block the northward movement of Vayu and force the tropical cyclone to move more toward the west.  On its anticipated track the core of Tropical Cyclone Vayu will remain west of the coast of Gujarat.  Bands on the eastern side of the circulation could drop rain over Gujarat but the strongest part of the circulation is likely to remain offshore.