Tropical Cyclone Uesi strengthened to the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon over the Coral Sea northwest of New Caledonia on Monday. At 4:00 p.m. EST on Monday the center of Tropical Cyclone Uesi was located at latitude 18.4°S and longitude 162.5°E which put it about 125 miles (200 km) northwest of Poum, New Caledonia. Uesi was moving toward the south at 6 m.p.h. (10 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 976 mb.
Tropical Cyclone Uesi exhibited evidence of being the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon on Monday. Microwave satellite imagery showed indications of the development of an eye in the lower and middle levels of Uesi. The tops of tall thunderstorms around the center of circulation obscured the developing eye on conventional visible and infrared satellite images. A ring of strong thunderstorms around the center of Tropical Cyclone Uesi was producing the strongest wind speeds. Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Uesi. The strongest rainbands were in the southern half of the circulation. Bands in the northern half of the circulation consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds. Winds to hurricane/typhoon force extended out 40 miles (65 km) from the center of circulation. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 160 miles (260 km) from the center in the southern half of the circulation and out 100 miles (160 km) in the northern half.
Tropical Cyclone Uesi will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 24 to 36 hours. Uesi will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C. It will move under the western end of an upper level ridge over the South Pacific Ocean. The ridge will produce northerly winds which will blow toward the top of the circulation. Those winds will cause some vertical wind shear, but the shear will not be great enough to prevent further intensification. Tropical Cyclone Uesi will likely continue to strengthen during the next 24 to 36 hours.
Tropical Cyclone Uesi will move around the western end of a high pressure system over the South Pacific Ocean during the next several days. The high pressure system will steer Uesi toward the south. On its anticipated track the core of Tropical Cyclone Uesi will pass near and just to the west of northern New Caledonia during the next 24 to 36 hours. Rainbands on the eastern side of Uesi could bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to parts of New Caledonia.