Tropical Cyclone Paddy Weakens South of Christmas Island

Tropical Cyclone Paddy weakened over the South Indian Ocean south of Christmas Island on Wednesday. At 10:00 a.m. EST on Wednesday the center of Tropical Cyclone Paddy was located at latitude 14.5°S and longitude 105.5°E which put it about 270 miles (440 km) south of Christmas Island. Paddy was moving toward the southwest at 6 m.p.h. (10 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 35 m.p.h. (55 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 1003 mb.

An upper level trough over the South Indian Ocean west of Australia was producing strong northwesterly winds that were blowing toward the top of Tropical Cyclone Paddy’s circulation. Those winds were causing strong vertical wind shear and the upper level winds were blowing the tops off of many of the thunderstorms around Paddy’s circulation. The strongest thunderstorms were occurring in bands on the southeastern side of Tropical Cyclone Paddy. Bands in the other parts of the tropical cyclone consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds. The strong vertical wind shear was causing Paddy to weaken.

Tropical Cyclone Paddy will move through an environment unfavorable for a tropical cyclone during the next several days. Paddy will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 26˚C. However, the upper level trough west of Australia will continue to cause strong vertical wind shear. The strong wind shear will blow the tops off of any new thunderstorms that develop. The winds around Tropical Cyclone Paddy will decrease gradually during the next 48 hours.

Tropical Cyclone Paddy will move south of a high pressure system over the South Indian Ocean. The high pressure system will steer Paddy toward the west during the next several days as the tropical cyclone weakens gradually. On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Paddy will remain well to the south of Christmas Island.

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