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Tropical Cyclone Seroja Spins Northwest of Australia

Tropical Cyclone Seroja was spinning northwest of Australia on Wednesday night. At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Tropical Cyclone Seroja was located at latitude 16.0°S and longitude 113.4°E which put it about 410 miles (665 km) north of Exmouth, Australia. Seroja was moving toward the west-southwest at 8 m.p.h. (13 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 985 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Seroja was exhibiting signs of intensification on Wednesday night, but it was also still being affected by vertical wind shear. More thunderstorms were beginning to form near the center of circulation. However, the distribution of thunderstorms was asymmetrical. Many of the stronger thunderstorms were occurring in bands in the western half of Seroja. Bands in the eastern half of the circulation consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 100 miles (160 km) from the center of circulation.

Tropical Cyclone Seroja will move through an environment more favorable for intensification during the next several days. Seroja will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures will be near 30°C. It will move under the northwestern part of an upper level ridge centered over northwestern Australia during the next 24 hours. The ridge will produce northeasterly winds which will blow toward the top of the circulation. Those winds will cause some vertical wind shear. Tropical Cyclone Seroja could intensify gradually during the next 24 hours. Seroja will move closer to the axis of the upper level ridge in a day or so. The winds are weaker near the axis of the ridge and the wind shear will decrease. Tropical Cyclone Seroja could strengthen into the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon during the next 36 hours. Seroja could strengthen more rapidly when the vertical wind shear decreases and it is forecast to intensify into the equivalent of a major hurricane.

Tropical Cyclone Seroja will move around the northwestern part of a high pressure system over Australia. The high will steer Seroja toward the southwest during the next 48 hours. On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Seroja will remain northwest of Western Australia during the next two days. An upper level trough over the South Indian Ocean will approach Seroja during the weekend. The trough will turn Tropical Cyclone Seroja toward the southeast and it could approach the coast of Western Australia south of Denham in 72 hours.

Elsewhere over the South Indian Ocean, Tropical Cyclone 27S was interacting with the western side of Tropical Cyclone Seroja. At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Tropical Cyclone 27S was located at latitude 15.8°S and longitude 105.9°E which put it about 645 miles (1040 km) northwest of Exmouth, Australia. The tropical cyclone was moving toward the northeast at 4 m.p.h. (6 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 994 mb.