Tropical Cyclone Gaja formed over the Bay of Bengal on Sunday. At 4:00 p.m. EST on Sunday the center of Tropical Cyclone Gaja was located at latitude 12.9°N and longitude 86.7°E which put it about 500 miles (805 km) east of Chennai, India. Gaja was moving toward the west-southwest at 8 m.p.h. (13 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 1002 mb.
An area of low pressure moving over the Bay of Bengal strengthened on Sunday and the India Meteorological Department classified the system as Tropical Cyclone Gaja. The circulation around Tropical Cyclone Gaja is still organizing. There is a distinct low level center of circulation. A short band of thunderstorms is west and north of the center. Several other bands of showers and thunderstorms are developing in other parts of Tropical Cyclone Gaja. One stronger band is east of the center of circulation and another stronger band is southeast of the center. Storms near the center are beginning to generate upper level divergence which will pump mass away from the tropical cyclone.
Tropical Cyclone Gaja will move through an environment somewhat favorable for intensification during the next 48 hours. Gaja will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C. It will move south of an upper level ridge. The ridge will produce easterly winds which will blow toward the top of the circulation. The winds will cause some vertical wind shear, but the shear will not be strong enough to prevent intensification. Tropical Cyclone Gaja will intensify and it could be nearly equivalent to a hurricane/typhoon in two or three days.
The upper level ridge will steer Tropical Cyclone Gaja in a generally west-southwesterly direction. On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Gaja will approach the coast of southern India in about 72 hours. Gaja could be nearly the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon at that time.
Elsewhere, over the South Indian Ocean Tropical Cyclone Alcide still was moving slowly east of the northern end of Madgascar and Tropical Cyclone Bouchra developed between Diego Garcia and Cocos Island. At 4:00 p.m. EST on Sunday the center of Tropical Cyclone Alcide was located at latitude 12.3°N and longitude 51.9°E which put it about 170 miles (275 km) east of Antisiranana, Madagascar. Alcide was moving toward the northwest at 4 m.p.h. (6 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 997 mb.
At 4:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Cyclone Bouchra was located at latitude 5.4°S and longitude 89.1°E which put it about 700 miles (1130 km) northwest of Cocos Island, Australia. Bouchra was moving toward the east at 2 m.p.h. (3 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 999 mb.