Tropical Cyclone Asani Intensifies to Equivalent of a Hurricane/Typhoon

Tropical Cyclone Asani intensified to the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon over the Bay of Bengal on Sunday morning. At 5:00 a.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Cyclone Asani was located at latitude 12.0°N and longitude 88.3°E which put it about 750 miles (1215 km) south of Kolkata, India. Asani was moving toward the northwest at 10 m.p.h (16 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 977 mb.

Former Tropical Cyclone 02B intensified on Sunday morning and the India Meteorological Department designated the system as Tropical Cyclone Asani. The strongest thunderstorms were occurring in bands southwest of the center of Asani’s circulation. Other bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the center of Tropical Cyclone Asani. Storms near the center of circulation generated upper level divergence that pumped mass away from the tropical cyclone. Winds to hurricane/typhoon force extended out 30 miles (50 km) from the center of Asani. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 140 miles (225 km) from the center of circulation.

Tropical Cyclone Asani will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours. Asani will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 30˚C. It will move under the southern part of an upper level ridge over the Bay of Bengal. The upper level ridge will produce easterly winds that will blow toward the top of the low pressure system. Those winds will cause some vertical wind shear, but the shear will not be large enough to prevent intensification. Tropical Cyclone Asani is likely to intensify during the next 24 hours. Asani will move toward a mass of drier air when it moves closer to India in a day or two.

Tropical Cyclone Asani will move around the western side of a high pressure system over Southeast Asia. The high pressure system will steer Asani toward the northwest during the next 24 hours. On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Asani will move toward the east coast of India. Asani could be southeast of Visakhapatnam in 48 hours.