Tropical Cyclone Karim Passes West of Cocos Island

Tropical Cyclone Karim passed west of Cocos Island on Monday morning. At 5:00 a.m. EDT on Monday the center of Tropical Cyclone Karim was located at latitude 12.8°S and longitude 90.9°E which put it about 410 miles (660 km) west of Cocos Island. Karim was moving toward the south at 8 m.p.h (13 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 70 m.p.h. (110 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 85 m.p.h. (135 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 980 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Karim strengthened a little as it passed west of Cocos Islands over the South Indian Ocean on Monday morning. The inner end of a rainband wrapped around the center of Karim’s circulation and a small eye appeared on microwave satellite imagery. The strongest thunderstorms were occurring in bands southern and western parts of Tropical Cyclone Karim. Bands in the northern and eastern parts of the circulation consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds. 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 145 miles (230 km) from the center of Karim.

Tropical Cyclone Karim will move through an environment somewhat 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 northeasterly winds that will blow toward the top of Karim’s circulation. Those winds will cause vertical wind shear and the wind shear will inhibit intensification. The wind shear may not be large enough to stop Tropical Cyclone Karim from intensifying and Karim could strengthen a little more 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 move southwest of Cocos Island during the next 24 hours.