Tropical Cyclone Alicia developed east of Diego Garcia on Friday. At 10:00 p.m. EST on Friday the center of Tropical Cyclone Alicia was located at latitude 7.8°N and longitude 79.1°E which put it about 495 miles (795 km) east of Diego Garcia. Alicia was moving toward the west-southwest at 23 m.p.h. (37 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 991 mb.
The circulation around a low pressure system east of Diego Garcia exhibited more organization on Friday and the system was designated as Tropical Cyclone Alicia. The inner end of a rainband wrapped around the western and northern sides of the center of circulation. Other bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the center of Alicia. Storms near the center generated upper level divergence which pumped mass away from the tropical storm. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 130 miles (210 km) from the center of circulation.
Tropical Cyclone Alicia will move through an environment that will be favorable for intensification during the next 36 hours. Alicia will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C. Alicia will be under an upper level ridge where the winds are weaker and there will be little vertical wind shear. Tropical Cyclone Alicia could strengthen into the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon within 36 hours.
Tropical Cyclone Alicia will move around the western end of a high pressure system over the southeastern Indian Ocean. The high will steer Alicia toward the south-southwest during the next several days. On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Alicia will pass southeast of Diego Garcia and east of Rodrigues.
Tropical Cyclone Abela formed over the South Indian Ocean in the middle of winter on Sunday. At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Cyclone Abela was located at latitude 12.9°S and longitude 62.4°E which put it about 640 miles (1030 km) northeast of Port Louis, Mauritius. Abela was moving toward the west-southwest at 18 m.p.h. (29 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 989 mb.
Enough spiral banding developed in a low pressure system over the South Indian Ocean to allow the system to be classified as Tropical Cyclone Abela. The circulation is not well organized. Most of the thunderstorms were located in a thin primary rainband that wrapped around the western side of the center of circulation. The other rainbands contained shallower clouds. There was enough convection to produce some upper level divergence. Winds to tropical storm force extend out about 150 miles (240 km) from the center of circulation.
The environment around Tropical Cyclone Abela is only marginal for further intensification. It is moving over water where the Sea Surface Temperature (SST) is near 26°C. Northeasterly winds in the upper levels are creating a moderate amount of vertical wind shear. The wind shear will limit the potential for intensification during the short term. In about a day or so Abela will move over cooler SSTs and it should start to weaken.
A ridge of high pressure located east of Abela is steering the tropical cyclone toward the west-southwest and that general motion is expected to continue for another day or two. On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Abela will pass north of Mauritius and La Reunion. Abela is expected to reach the western end of the ridge and recurve toward the south as it nears the east coast of Madagascar.