Tropical Cyclone 06A Forms over Western Arabian Sea

Tropical Cyclone 06A formed over the western Arabian Sea on Monday night.  At 10:00 p.m. EST on Monday the center of Tropical Cyclone 06A was located at latitude 6.7°N and longitude 56.1°E which put it about 420 miles (620 km) east-southeast of Eyl, Somalia.  The tropical cyclone was moving toward the west-northwest at 12 m.p.h. (19 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1003 mb.

The circulation around Tropical Cyclone 06A was still organizing on Monday night and the distribution of thunderstorms was asymmetrical.  Many of the stronger thunderstorms were occurring in bands in the northern half of the circulation.  Bands in the southern half of the circulation consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds.  Satellite images suggested that the upper levels of the circulation were tilted to the north of the surface circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 100 miles (160 km) from the center of circulation.

Tropical Cyclone 06A was near the western end of an upper level ridge centered over southern India.  The ridge was producing southerly winds which were blowing toward the top of the tropical cyclone.  Those winds were causing moderate vertical wind shear,  The wind shear was causing the apparent tilt of the circulation with height and it was contributing to the asymmetrical distribution of thunderstorms.

Tropical Cyclone 06A will move through an environment that will be somewhat favorable for intensification.  The tropical cyclone will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  The upper level ridge will continue to cause moderate vertical wind shear during the next several days.  The wind shear will inhibit intensification.  If the vertical wind shear remains moderate, Tropical Cyclone 06A could continue to intensify slowly.  However, if the wind shear increases, then the shear could be strong enough to weaken the tropical cyclone.  The forecast is for slight intensification of Tropical Cyclone 06A during the next 24 to 36 hours.

The ridge centered over southern India will steer Tropical Cyclone 06A toward the north during the next day or two.  On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone 06A will move parallel to the coast of Somalia during the next 24 to 36 hours.  The tropical cyclone could turn toward Somalia later this week, but there is much uncertainty about the longer range forecast because of uncertainty about the future intensity of Tropical Cyclone 06A.