Tropical Cyclone Gabekile developed south of Diego Garcia on Saturday. At 10:00 a.m. EST on Saturday the center of Tropical Cyclone Gabekile was located at latitude 17.4°S and longitude 74.1°E which put it about 700 miles (1125 km) south of Diego Garcia. Gabekile was moving toward the south-southwest at 5 m.p.h. (8 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 995 mb.
The circulation around Tropical Cyclone Gabekile was small but well organized. Some microwave images suggested that a small eye could be forming at the center of circulation. The eyelike feature was surrounded by a tight ring of thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms. Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the small core of Gabekile. Storms near the core generated upper level divergence which pumped mass away from the tropical cyclone. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 65 miles (105 km) from the center of circulation.
Tropical Cyclone Gabekile will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next several days. Gabekile will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C. It will move under the western end of an upper level ridge over the South Indian 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 strong enough to prevent intensification. Tropical Cyclone Gabekile could strengthen into the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon.
Tropical Cyclone Gabekile will move around the western end of a high pressure system over the South Indian Ocean. The high will steer Gabekile toward the south. On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Gabekile will move farther away from Diego Garcia.
Elsewhere over the South Indian Ocean, Tropical Cyclone Francisco was weakening as it moved slowly inland over east-central Madagascar. At 7:00 a.m. EST on Saturday the center of Tropical Cyclone Francisco was located at latitude 20.0°S and longitude 48.3°E which put it about 10 miles (15 km) north of Marolambo, Madagascar. Francisco was moving toward the southwest at 4 m.p.h. (6 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 30 m.p.h. (50 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 1007 mb. Tropical Cyclone Francisco was dropping locally heavy rain over parts of Madagascar.