Two Tropical Cyclones Form over Southwest Indian Ocean

One day after a pair of tropical cyclones developed over Arabian Sea, two tropical cyclones formed over the Southwest Indian Ocean on Wednesday.  At 4:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday the center of Tropical Cyclone 02S was located at latitude 6.9°S and longitude 51.2°E which put it about 355 miles (575 km) north of Madagascar.  The tropical cyclone was moving toward the south-southwest at 4 m.p.h. (6 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 1000 mb.

At 4:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday the center of Tropical Cyclone 03S was located at latitude 7.5°S and longitude 64.0°E which put it about 570 miles (915 km) west of Diego Garcia.  The tropical cyclone was moving toward the southwest at 9 m.p.h. (15 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) snd there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1000 mb.

Tropical Cyclone 02S was still organizing on Wednesday afternoon and the distribution of thunderstorms was asymmetrical.  Many of the stronger thunderstorms were occurring in bands on the northern side of the circulation.  Bands on the southern side of the tropical cyclone consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds.  Storm near the center of circulation began to generate upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the tropical cyclone.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 30 miles (50 km) from the center.

Tropical Cyclone 02S will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 48 to 72 hours.  The tropical cyclone will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28.5°C.  It will move through a region where there will be weak southeasterly winds in the upper levels.  Those winds will cause some vertical wind shear and they may already have contributed to the asymmetrical distribution of thunderstorms.  The wind shear will slow the rate of intensification, but the shear will not be enough to prevent the Tropical Cyclone 02S from getting stronger. The tropical cyclone could intensify into the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon in 48 to 72 hours.

Tropical Cyclone 02S will move near the western end of a subtropical high pressure system over the South Indian Ocean.  The high will steer the tropical cyclone toward the south-southwest.  On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone 02S could approach northern Madagascar in three or four days.

Tropical Cyclone 03S was also still organizing on Wednesday afternoon and it too had an asymmetrical distribution of thunderstorms.  The strongest thunderstorms around Tropical Cyclone 03S were occurring in bands south and west of the center of circulation.  Bands north and east of the center consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds.  Storms near the center of circulation were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the tropical cyclone.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 35 miles (55 km) from the center.

Tropical Cyclone 03S will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 24 to 48 hours.  The tropical cyclone will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28.5°C.  It will move through a region where the upper level winds will blow from the north.  Those winds will cause some vertical wind shear and they may have already contributed to the asymmetrical distribution of thunderstorms.  The wind shear will slow the rate of intensification but it will not be strong enough to prevent Tropical Cyclone 03S from getting stronger.

Tropical Cyclone 03S will also be steered by the subtropical high pressure system over the South Indian Ocean.  The high will steer the tropical cyclone toward the south-southwest.  On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone 03S could move toward Mauritius.

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