Tropical Cyclone Habana Weakens

Tropical Cyclone Habana weakened over the South Indian Ocean east of Rodrigues on Friday. At 4:00 p.m. EST on Friday the center of Tropical Cyclone Habana was located at latitude 20.0°S and longitude 70.8°E which put it about 435 miles (700 km) east of Rodrigues. Habana was moving toward the south-southwest at 7 m.p.h. (11 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 125 m.p.h. (200 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 155 m.p.h. (250 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 954 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Habana weakened gradually over the South Indian Ocean on Friday. The temperature at the top of the clouds was not as cold, which indicated that the clouds were not rising as high in the atmosphere. Even though Habana was weakening it still was a very well organized tropical cyclone. There was an eye at the center of Tropical Cyclone Habana. The eye was surrounded by a ring of strong thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms. Storms around the core of generated upper level divergence that pumped mass away from the tropical cyclone.

The circulation around Tropical Cyclone Habana increased slightly in size. Winds to hurricane/typhoon force extended out 30 miles (50 km) from the center of Habana. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 115 miles (185 km) from the center of circulation. The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Tropical Cyclone Habana was 23.6. The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 10.8 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 34.4.

Tropical Cyclone Habana will move through an environment that will gradually become less favorable for a strong tropical cyclone during the next several day. Habana will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures will be near 27°C. An upper level trough east of Madagascar will move toward Tropical Cyclone Habana. The trough will produce westerly winds which will blow toward the top of Habana. Those winds will cause more vertical wind shear and the shear will cause Tropical Cyclone Habana to weaken during the weekend.

Tropical Cyclone Habana will move around the western end of a subtropical high pressure system over the South Indian Ocean. The high will steer Habana toward the south during the next 24 hours. Then the high will strengthen and start to steer Habana toward the west again later in the weekend. On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Habana could be southeast of Rodrigues in a next few days.