Weakening Tropical Cyclone Maha Moves Back Toward India

A weakening Tropical Cyclone Maha moved back toward India on Tuesday.  At 10:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday the center of Tropical Cyclone Maha was located at latitude 19.8°N and longitude 66.7°E which put it about 425 miles (690 km) west of Mumbai, India.  Maha was moving toward the east at 15 m.p.h. (24 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 70 m.p.h. (110 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 85 m.p.h. (135 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 985 mb.

An upper level trough over southwest Asia was producing westerly winds which were blowing toward the top of Tropical Cyclone Maha.  Those winds were creating strong vertical wind shear which was causing Maha to weaken steadily.  Tropical Cyclone Maha weakened to the equivalent of a tropical storm on Tuesday night.  There was no longer an eye at the center of Maha.  Thunderstorms were forming in rainbands east of the center of circulation.  Bands in the other parts of the circulation consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 75 miles (120 km) from the center of circulation.

The westerly winds were also steering Tropical Cyclone Maha back toward India.  On its anticipated track Maha could approach the coast of India between Mumbai and Diu in about 48 hours.  Tropical Cyclone Maha is likely to have weakened to the equivalent of a tropical depression by the time it nears the coast.