Tropical Cyclone Vayu Turns West Over Northeast Arabian Sea

Tropical Cyclone Vayu turned west over the northeastern Arabian Sea on Thursday.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Tropical Cyclone Vayu was located at latitude 20.9°N and longitude 68.4°E which put it about 80 miles (130 km) southwest of Porbandar, India.  Vayu was moving toward the west-northwest at 4 m.p.h. (6 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 105 m.p.h. (170 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 120 m.p.h. (195 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 960 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Vayu maintained its intensity on Thursday, but the circulation exhibited slightly less organization.  A small eye continued to mark the center of circulation.  A ring of strong thunderstorms surrounded the eye, but there was a break in the northeastern portion of the ring.  The circulation continued to pull drier air into the northern part of the tropical cyclone.  Many of the stronger thunderstorms were occurring in bands in the southern half of the circulation.  Rainbands in the northern half of the circulation were weaker.  Winds to hurricane/typhoon force extended out about 40 miles (65 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 125 miles (200 km) from the center.

Tropical Cyclone Vayu will continue to move through an environment capable of sustaining a tropical cyclone on Friday.  Vayu will move under the axis of an upper level ridge where the winds are weaker and there will be little vertical wind shear.  The Sea Surface Temperature in the northeastern Arabian Sea is near 30°C.  However, Tropical Cyclone Vayu moved slowly on Thursday and it may have stirred some cooler water to the surface.  In addition, the circulation around Vayu will continue to draw in drier air from over south Asia.  Tropical Cyclone Vayu could start to weaken slowly on Friday, although it could maintain its intensity if it moves away from the upwelled cooler water.

Tropical Cyclone Vayu will be south of a strengthening ridge of high pressure over south Asia.  The ridge will block Vayu and prevent it from moving farther toward the north.  The ridge will steer Vayu slowly toward the west during the next 24 to 48 hours.  On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Vayu will remain southwest of Gujarat and south of Pakistan during the next two days.