Tropical Cyclone Batsirai Moves West Across South Indian Ocean

Tropical Cyclone Batsirai moved westward across the South Indian Ocean on Friday morning. At 10:00 a.m. EST on Friday the center of Tropical Cyclone Batsirai was located at latitude 18.4°S and longitude 73.1°E which put it about 655 miles (1060 km) east of Rodrigues. Batsirai was moving toward the west at 14 m.p.h. (22 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 994 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Batsirai weakened almost as fast during the past 24 hours as it had intensified previously. The tiny pinhole eye collapsed and the distribution of thunderstorms became asymmetrical. The strongest thunderstorms were occurring in bands in the western and southern parts of Batsirai’s circulation. Bands in the northeastern part of the tropical cyclone consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds. Storms near the center of circulation generated upper level divergence that pumped mass away to the west of Tropical Cyclone Batsirai. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 75 miles (120 km) from the center of Batsirai.

Tropical Cyclone Batsirai will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 48 hours. Batsirai will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 29˚C. It will move through a region where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear. Tropical Cyclone Batsirai is likely to intensify during the next 48 hours. It could strengthen back to the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon.

Tropical Cyclone Batsirai will move north of a high pressure system over the South Indian Ocean. The high pressure system will steer Batsirai toward the west during the next few days. On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Batsirai could be near Rodrigues within 72 hours. Batsirai could approach Mauritius in five days. Tropical Cyclone Batsirai could be the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon when it affects Rodrigues and Mauritius. Batsirai could also eventually affect La Reunion and Madagascar later next week.