Tropical Cyclone Ferdinand strengthened to the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon over the South Indian Ocean northwest of Australia on Monday night. At 10:00 p.m. EST on Monday the center of Tropical Cyclone Ferdinand was located at latitude 15.4°S and longitude 117.0°E which put it about 520 miles (840 km) north-northeast of Learmonth, Australia. Ferdinand was moving toward the southwest at 5 m.p.h. (8 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 975 mb.
The circulation around Tropical Cyclone Ferdinand exhibited much greater organization on Monday. A very small circular eye formed at the center of circulation. The eye was surrounded by a ring of strong thunderstorms surrounded the eye and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms. Storms around the eye generated upper level divergence which was pumping mass away form the tropical cyclone. Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Ferdinand. Winds to hurricane/typhoon force extended out 25 miles (40 km) from the center of circulation. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 70 miles (100 km) from the center.
Tropical Cyclone Ferdinand will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 24 to 36 hours. Ferdinand will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C. It will move under an upper level ridge over the South Indian Ocean northwest of Australia. The upper level winds will be weak and there will be little vertical wind shear. Tropical Cyclone Ferdinand will continue intensify and it could strengthen to the equivalent of a major hurricane during the next 24 to 36 hours.
Tropical Cyclone Ferdinand will move north of a high pressure system over the South Indian Ocean. The high will steer Ferdinand slowly toward the west-southwest during the next several days. On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Ferdinand will remain well to the northwest of Western Australia.
Elsewhere, Tropical Cyclone Esther was moving westward over the Northern Territory of Australia. At 10:00 p.m. EST on Monday the center of Tropical Cyclone Esther was located at latitude 17.3°S and longitude 135.4°E which put it about 125 miles (200 km) east of Newcastle Waters, Australia. Esther was moving toward the west at 7 m.p.h. (11km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 35 m.p.h. (55 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 997 mb. Tropical Cyclone Esther was dropping locally heavy rain over parts of the Northern Territory. A Flood Watch was in effect for the Coastal Carpentaria Rivers, Barkly and the Western Top End.