Tropical Cyclone Herold Passes North of Mauritius

Tropical Cyclone Herold passed north of Mauritius on Monday.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Tropical Cyclone Herold was located at latitude 17.3°S and longitude 57.6°E which put it about 230 miles (370 km) north of Port Louis, Mauritius.  Herold was moving toward the east-southeast at 20 m.p.h. (32 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 115 m.p.h. (185 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 972 mb.

The circulation around Tropical Cyclone Herold remained well organized on Monday.  Microwave satellite imagery indicated that there was an eye at the center of circulation, but the eye was not visible on conventional satellite images.  The eye was surround by a narrow ring of thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Herold.  Many of the stronger thunderstorms were in bands south and east of the center of circulation.  Winds to hurricane/typhoon force extended out 35 miles (55 km) from the center.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 130 miles (215 km) from the center of circulation.

Tropical Cyclone Herold may have reached its maximum intensity.  Herold will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C.  So, there will be plenty of energy in the upper layer of the South Indian Ocean to support intensification.  However, an upper level trough near Madagascar and an upper level ridge over the South Indian Ocean will interact to produce strong northwesterly winds which will blow toward the top of Tropical Cyclone Herold.  Those winds will cause moderate vertical wind shear and they will likely prevent further intensification.  In fact the wind shear is likely to be strong enough to cause Herold to start to weaken during the next 24 hours.

The upper level trough and ridge will combine to steer Tropical Cyclone Herold quickly toward the east-southeast.  On its anticipated track Herold could reach Rodrigues within 24 hours.  Tropical Cyclone Herold is likely to bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to Port Mathurin and the rest of Rodrigues.  Heavy rain could cause flash floods in some locations.