Tropical Cyclone Vayu Weakens South of Pakistan

Tropical Cyclone Vayu weakened over the Arabian Sea south of Pakistan on Saturday.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Cyclone Vayu was located at latitude 24.2°N and longitude 65.3°E which put it about 275 miles (445 km) south-southwest of Karachi, Pakistan.  Vayu was moving toward the northwest at 8 m.p.h. (13 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 985 mb.

The low level circulation around Tropical Cyclone Vayu remained well organized on Saturday, but the distribution of thunderstorms was asymmetrical.  The stronger thunderstorms were occurring in the southern half of the former eyewall and in several rainbands in the southern half of the circulation.  The strongest winds were occurring in the remaining portion of the eyewall.  Bands in the northern half of the circulation consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 150 miles (240 km) from the center of circulation.

The circulation around Tropical Cyclone Vayu continued to draw drier air into the northern half of the tropical cyclone on Saturday.  An upper level ridge north of Vayu was producing strong northeasterly winds which were blowing toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds were causing moderate vertical wind shear.  The drier air and wind shear were the primary factors causing the asymmetrical distribution of thunderstorms.

Tropical Cyclone Vayu will move through an environment unfavorable for intensification during the next 24 hours.  Even though Vayu will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C, the combined effects of the drier air and the wind shear are likely to cause the tropical cyclone to continue to weaken on Sunday.  If the upper level winds get stronger, they could blow the upper half of the circulation southwest of the lower part of Tropical Cyclone Vayu.  In that case Vayu will weaken more quickly.

The future track of Tropical Cyclone Vayu will also depend on the vertical wind shear.  If the wind shear is not too strong and the circulation remains vertically intact, then the ridge north of Vayu will steer the tropical cyclone slowly toward the northwest on Sunday.  If the upper level winds blow the upper half of the circulation away from the lower portion of Tropical Cyclone Vayu, then southwesterly winds in the lower atmosphere will blow the shallower system toward the northeast.  Guidance from numerical models suggest this second scenario is more likely and the anticipated track takes Tropical Cyclone Vayu toward the northeast.