Tropical Cyclone Karim formed over the South Indian Ocean west-northwest of Cocos Island on Saturday morning. At 5:00 a.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Cyclone Karim was located at latitude 8.0°S and longitude 89.6°E which put it about 585 miles (945 km) west-northwest of Cocos Island. Karim was moving toward the southeast 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 998 mb.
The circulation around a low pressure system over the South Indian Ocean west-northwest of Cocos Island strengthened on Saturday morning and the system was designated as Tropical Cyclone Karim. More thunderstorms developed near the center of Karim’s circulation. Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the center of circulation. Storms near the center of circulation generated upper level divergence that pumped mass away to the southeast of the tropical cyclone. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 50 miles (80 km) from the center.
Tropical Cyclone Karim will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours. Karim will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 28˚C. It will move under the western end of an upper level ridge over the Southeast Indian Ocean. The ridge will produce north-northwesterly winds that will blow toward the top of Karim’s circulation. Those winds will cause vertical wind shear. The wind shear will inhibit intensification, but the shear will not be large enough to stop Karim from intensifying. Tropical Cyclone Karim is likely to strengthen during the next 24 hours.
Tropical Cyclone Karim will move around the western part of a high pressure system over the Southeast Indian Ocean. The high pressure system will steer Karim toward the south-southeast during the next 24 hours. On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Karim will pass west of Cocos Island in 48 hours.