Tag Archives: HWISI

Tropical Cyclone Djoungou Strengthens to Equivalent of Cat. 4 Hurricane

Tropical Cyclone Djoungou strengthened to the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale over the South Indian Ocean on Sunday. At 4:00 p.m. EST on Sunday the center of Tropical Cyclone Djoungou was located at latitude 22.5°S and longitude 82.3°E which put it about 1150 miles (1855 km) south-southeast of Diego Garcia. Djoungou was moving toward the southeast at 33 m.p.h. (54 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 140 m.p.h. (220 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 165 m.p.h. (265 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 942 mb.

A small circular was visible at the center of Tropical Cyclone Djoungou earlier on Sunday, but the eye was no longer evident on Sunday afternoon. The eye was surrounded by a ring of thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms. Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Tropical Cyclone Djoungou. Storms near the core generated strong upper level divergence that pumped lmass away from the tropical cyclone.

The size of the circulation around Tropical Cyclone Djoungou increased on Sunday. Winds to hurricane/typhoon force extended out 70 miles (110 km) from the center of Djoungou’s circulation. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 200 miles (320 km) from the center of circulation. The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Tropical Cyclone Djoungou was 28.2. The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 25.7 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 53.9.

Tropical Cyclone Djoungou will move through an environment unfavorable for a strong tropical cyclone during the next 36 hours. Djoungou will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 26°C. It will move under the eastern part of an upper level trough over the South Indian Ocean. The upper level trough will produce strong northwesterly winds that will blow toward the top of Djoungou’s circulation. Those winds will cause strong vertical wind shear. Strong vertical wind shear and cooler water will cause Tropical Cyclone Djoungou to weaken rapidly during the next 36 hours.

Tropical Cyclone Djoungou will move around the southern side of a high pressure system over the South Indian Ocean. The high pressure system will steer Djoungou toward the east-southeast during the next 36 hours. On its anticipated track, Tropical Cyclone Djoungou will move far to the south of the Cocos Islands in 36 hours.

Elsewhere over the South Indian Ocean, a tropical depression formed northwest of Mauritius. At 1:00 p.m. EST on Sunday the center of the tropical depression was located at latitude 15.5°S and longitude 5363°E which put it about 405 miles (650 km) northwest of Port Louis, Mauritius. The tropical depression was moving toward the east-northeast at 11 m.p.h. (17 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 30 m.p.h. (50 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 1004 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Djoungou Rapidly Intensifies to Equivalent of a Major Hurricane

Tropical Cyclone Djoungou rapidly intensified to the equivalent of a major hurricane over the South Indian Ocean south of Diego Garcia on Saturday. At 4:00 p.m. EST on Saturday the center of Tropical Cyclone Djoungou was located at latitude 17.1°S and longitude 73.3°E which put it about 660 miles (1065 km) south of Diego Garcia. Djoungou was moving toward the east-southeast at 22 m.p.h. (35 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 115 m.p.h. (185 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 145 m.p.h. (235 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 960 mb.

A small circular eye formed at the center of Tropical Cyclone Djoungou as it rapidly intensified on Saturday. The eye was surrounded by a ring of thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms. Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Tropical Cyclone Djoungou. Storms near the core generated strong upper level divergence that pumped large quantities of mass away from the tropical cyclone. The removal of large amounts of mass caused the surface pressure to decrease rapidly.

The circulation around Tropical Cyclone Djoungou also became more symmetrical when Djoungou rapidly intensified. Winds to hurricane/typhoon force extended out 50 miles (80 km) from the center of Djoungou’s circulation. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 185 miles (295 km) from the center of circulation. The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Tropical Cyclone Djoungou was 20.6. The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 20.2 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 40.8.

Tropical Cyclone Djoungou will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours. Djoungou will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 29°C. It will move under the axis of an upper level ridge over the South Indian Ocean. The upper level winds are weak near the axis of the ridge and there will be little vertical wind shear. Tropical Cyclone Djoungou is likely to intensify during the next 24 hours. However, Djoungou could start to weaken if the inner end of a rainband wraps around the existing eye and eyewall and concentric eyewalls form.

Tropical Cyclone Djoungou will move around the southern side of a high pressure system over the South Indian Ocean. The high pressure system will steer Djoungou toward the east-southeast during the next 24 hours. On its anticipated track, Tropical Cyclone Djoungou will move farther southeast of Diego Garcia.

Tropical Cyclone Anggrek Spins Far South of Diego Garcia

Tropical Cyclone Anggrek continued to spin over the South Indian Ocean far to the south of Diego Garcia on Monday. At 4:00 p.m. EST on Monday the center of Tropical Cyclone Anggrek was located at latitude 26.9°S and longitude 71.2°E which put it about 1315 miles (2120 km) south of Diego Garcia. Anggrek was moving toward the south at 14 m.p.h. (22 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 120 m.p.h. (195 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 150 m.p.h. (240 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 944 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Anggrek continued to be small, but powerful. A circular eye with a diameter of 16 miles (26 km) was at the center of Anggrek’s circulation. The eye was surrounded by a ring of thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms. Bands of showers and thunderstorms revolved around the core of Anggrek’ circulation. Storms near the core generated upper level divergence that pumped mass away from the tropical cyclone.

The small circulation around Tropical Cyclone Anggrek was still symmetrical. Winds to hurricane/typhoon force extended out 45 miles (75 km) from the center of Anggrek’s circulation. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 85 miles (135 km) from the center of circulation. The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Tropical Cyclone Anggrek was 22.1. The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 13.8 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 35.9.

Tropical Cyclone Anggrek will move through an environment unfavorable for a strong tropical cyclone during the next 24 hours. Anggrek will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 25°C. It will move under the eastern side of an upper level trough that is east of Madagascar. The upper level trough will produce northwesterly winds that will blow toward the top of Anggrek’s circulation. Those winds will cause the vertical wind shear to increase. The combination of cooler water and more vertical wind shear will cause Tropical Cyclone Anggrek to weaken during the next 24 hours. The combination of cooler water and more wind shear will also cause Anggrek to start to make a transition to an extratropical cyclone.

The upper level trough east of Madagascar will steer Tropical Cyclone Anggrek toward the southeast during the next 24 hours. On its anticipated track, Tropical Cyclone Anggrek will move farther away from Diego Garcia.

Tropical Cyclone Anggrek Intensifies to Equivalent of Cat. 4 Hurricane

Tropical Cyclone Anggrek intensified to the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale over the South Indian Ocean far to the south of Diego Garcia on Sunday. At 4:00 p.m. EST on Sunday the center of Tropical Cyclone Anggrek was located at latitude 22.2°S and longitude 72.7°E which put it about 1010 miles (1625 km) south of Diego Garcia. Anggrek was moving toward the west-southwest at 18 m.p.h. (29 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 130 m.p.h. (210 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 160 m.p.h. (260 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 950 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Anggrek was small, but powerful. A circular eye with a diameter of 17 miles (28 km) was at the center of Anggrek’s circulation. The eye was surrounded by a ring of thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms. Bands of showers and thunderstorms revolved around the core of Anggrek’ circulation. Storms near the core generated upper level divergence that pumped mass away from the tropical cyclone. The upper level divergence pumped away more mass than was converging in the lower levels of Tropical Cyclone Anggrek. The removal of mass caused the surface pressure to decrease.

The small circulation around Tropical Cyclone Anggrek was very symmetrical. Winds to hurricane/typhoon force extended out 25 miles (40 km) from the center of Anggrek’s circulation. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 100 miles (160 km) from the center of circulation. The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Tropical Cyclone Anggrek was 25.1. The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 8.7 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 33.8.

Tropical Cyclone Anggrek will move through an environment favorable for a strong tropical cyclone during the next 24 hours. Anggrek will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 28°C. It will move under the axis of an upper level ridge over the South Indian Ocean. The upper level winds are weak near the axis of the ridge and there will be little vertical wind shear. Tropical Cyclone Anggrek intensify during the next 24 hours. However, if the inner end of a rainband wraps around the existing eye and eyewall, then concentric eyewalls could form. If concentric eyewalls form, then an eyewall replacement cycle could cause Anggrek to start to weakeny.

Tropical Cyclone Anggrek will move around the western part of a high pressure system over the South Indian Ocean. The high pressure system will steer Anggrek toward the south during the next 24 hours. On its anticipated track, Tropical Cyclone Anggrek will move farther away from Diego Garcia.

Tropical Cyclone Anggrek Churns over South Indian Ocean

Tropical Cyclone Anggrek continued to churn over the South Indian Ocean south-southeast of Diego Garcia on Saturday. At 4:00 p.m. EST on Saturday the center of Tropical Cyclone Anggrek was located at latitude 19.7°S and longitude 78.6°E which put it about 975 miles (1570 km) southeast of south-Diego Garcia. Anggrek was moving toward the west-southwest at 13 m.p.h. (21 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 115 m.p.h. (185 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 145 m.p.h. (230 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 965 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Anggrek continued to be the equivalent of a major hurricane as it churned over the South Indian Ocean on Saturday. A very small circular eye was present at the center of Anggrek’s circulation. The eye was surrounded by a ring of thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms. Bands of showers and thunderstorms revolved around the core of Anggrek’ circulation. Storms near the core generated upper level divergence that pumped mass away from the tropical cyclone. The upper level divergence was almost in balance with the convergence in the lower atmosphere and the intensity of Tropical Cyclone Anggrek was nearly constant during the past 24 hours.

The circulation around Tropical Cyclone Anggrek was small. Winds to hurricane/typhoon force extended out 25 miles (40 km) from the center of Anggrek’s circulation. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 90 miles (150 km) from the center of circulation. The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Tropical Cyclone Anggrek was 20.6. The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 7.7 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 28.3.

Tropical Cyclone Anggrek will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours. Anggrek will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 28°C. It will move under the axis of an upper level ridge over the South Indian Ocean. The upper level winds are weak near the axis of the ridge and there will be little vertical wind shear. Tropical Cyclone Anggrek is in an equilibrium with its environment, but Anggrek could intensify a little during the next 24 hours. However, if the inner end of a rainband wraps around the existing eye and eyewall, then concentric eyewalls could form. If concentric eyewalls form, then an eyewall replacement cycle could cause Anggrek to weaken temporarily.

Tropical Cyclone Anggrek will move around the northwestern part of a high pressure system over the South Indian Ocean. The high pressure system will steer Anggrek toward the west-southwest during the next 24 hours. On its anticipated track, Tropical Cyclone Anggrek will remain far to the south of Diego Garcia.

Elsewhere over the South Indian Ocean, Tropical Cyclone Candice weakened rapidly south-southeast of Mauritius. At 4:00 a.m. EST on Saturday the center of Tropical Cyclone Candice was located at latitude 29.2°S and longitude 60.2°E which put it about 620 miles (1000 km) south-southeast of Port Louis, Mauritius. Candice was moving toward the south-southwest at 14 m.p.h. (22 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.

Tropical Cyclone Anggrek Intensifies to Equivalent of a Major Hurricane

Tropical Cyclone Anggrek intensified to the equivalent of a major hurricane over the South Indian Ocean southeast of Diego Garcia on Friday morning. At 4:00 a.m. EST on Friday the center of Tropical Cyclone Anggrek was located at latitude 17.2°S and longitude 86.0°E which put it about 1160 miles (1870 km) southeast of Diego Garcia. Anggrek was moving toward the west-southwest at 13 m.p.h. (21 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 120 m.p.h. (195 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 150 m.p.h. (240 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 958 mb.

A small circular eye was present at the center of Tropical Cyclone Anggrek. The eye was surrounded by a ring of thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms. Bands of showers and thunderstorms revolved around the core of Anggrek’ circulation. Storms near the core generated strong upper level divergence that pumped large quantities of mass away from the tropical cyclone. The removal of large amounts of mass caused the surface pressure to decrease.

The circulation around Tropical Cyclone Anggrek was symmetrical. Winds to hurricane/typhoon force extended out 35 miles (55 km) from the center of Anggrek’s circulation. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 150 miles (240 km) from the center of circulation. The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Tropical Cyclone Anggrek was 22.1. The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 12.9 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 35.0.

Tropical Cyclone Anggrek will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours. Anggrek will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 28°C. It will move under the axis of an upper level ridge over the South Indian Ocean. The upper level winds are weak near the axis of the ridge and there will be little vertical wind shear. Tropical Cyclone Anggrek is likely to intensify during the next 24 hours. If the inner end of a rainband wraps around the existing eye and eyewall, then concentric eyewalls could form. If concentric eyewalls form, then an eyewall replacement cycle could cause Anggrek to weaken temporarily.

Tropical Cyclone Anggrek will move around the northwestern part of a high pressure system over the South Indian Ocean. The high pressure system will steer Anggrek toward the west-southwest during the next 24 hours. On its anticipated track, Tropical Cyclone Anggrek will remain far to the southeast of Diego Garcia.

Elsewhere over the South Indian Ocean, Tropical Cyclone Candice moved farther to the southeast of Mauritius. At 10:00 a.m. EST on Friday the center of Tropical Cyclone Candice was located at latitude 27.1°S and longitude 62.3°E which put it about 565 miles (910 km) southeast of Port Louis, Mauritius. Candice was moving toward the southeast at 12 m.p.h. (19 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. (170 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 988 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Anggrek Strengthens to Equivalent of Cat. 2 Hurricane

Tropical Cyclone Anggrek strengthened to the equivalent of a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale over the South Indian Ocean on Thursday. At 4:00 p.m. EST on Thursday the center of Tropical Cyclone Anggrek was located at latitude 16.3°S and longitude 87.9°E which put it about 1225 miles (1975 km) southeast of Diego Garcia. Anggrek was moving toward the west-southwest at 12 m.p.h. (19 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 105 m.p.h. (170 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 125 m.p.h. (200 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 972 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Anggrek intensified more rapidly on Thursday. A circular eye with a diameter of 18 miles (29 km) formed at the center of Anggrek’s circulation. The eye was surrounded by a ring of thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms. Bands of showers and thunderstorms revolved around the core of Tropical Cyclone Anggrek. Storms near the core generated strong upper level divergence that pumped large quantities of mass away from the tropical cyclone. The removal of large amounts of mass caused the surface pressure to decrease more rapidly.

The circulation around Tropical Cyclone Anggrek was more symmetrical on Thursday. Winds to hurricane/typhoon force extended out 45 miles (75 km) from the center of Anggrek’s circulation. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 150 miles (240 km) from the center of circulation. The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Tropical Cyclone Anggrek was 17.8. The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 14.7 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 32.5.

Tropical Cyclone Anggrek will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours. Anggrek will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 28°C. It will move under the axis of an upper level ridge over the South Indian Ocean. The upper level winds are weak near the axis of the ridge and there will be less vertical wind shear. Tropical Cyclone Anggrek is likely to intensify to the equivalent of a major hurricane during the next 24 hours. Anggrek could intensify rapidly at times.

Tropical Cyclone Anggrek will move around the northwestern part of a high pressure system over the South Indian Ocean. The high pressure system will steer Anggrek toward the west-southwest during the next 24 hours. On its anticipated track, Tropical Cyclone Anggrek will remain far to the southeast of Diego Garcia.

Elsewhere over the South Indian Ocean, Tropical Cyclone Candice moved farther away from Mauritius. At 10:00 a.m. EST on Thursday the center of Tropical Cyclone Candice was located at latitude 24.1°S and longitude 60.6°E which put it about 315 miles (505 km) southeast of Port Louis, Mauritius. Candice was moving toward the southeast at 22 m.p.h. (35 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. (170 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 982 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Belal Brings Strong Winds, Heavy Rain to La Reunion

Tropical Cyclone Belal brought strong winds and heavy rain to La Reunion on Monday. A Red Alert was in effect for La Reunion. At 10:00 a.m. EST on Monday the center of Tropical Cyclone Belal was located at latitude 21.5°S and longitude 56.5°E which put it about 75 miles (120 km) southeast of St. Denis, La Reunion. Belal was moving toward the southeast at 9 m.p.h. (15 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 85 m.p.h. (135 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 100 m.p.h. (160 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 975 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Belal produced strong winds and dropped heavy rain in La Reunion on Monday. A weather station at Roland Garros Airport in St.Denis, La Reunion reported a sustained wind speed of 56 kt (64 m.p.h. or 104 km/h) and a wind gust of 76 kt (87 m.p.h. or 141 km/h). A weather station at Plaines Des Palmistes measured 698.8 mm (27.51 inches) of rain during the past 24 hours. A weather station at Bellecombe-Jacob measured 667.4 mm (26.27 inches) of rain during the past 24 hours. The weather station at Roland Garros Airport reported 189.9 mm (7.47 inches) of rain during the past 24 hours.

There were also reports of heavy rain and flooding in Mauritius. A weather station at Quatre Bornes, Mauritius reported 176.9 mm (6.96 inches) of rain during the past 24 hours.

Tropical Cyclone Belal was the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon. Winds to hurricane/typhoon force extended out 35 miles (55 km) from the center of Belal’s circulation. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 130 miles (210 km) from the center of circulation. The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Tropical Cyclone Belal was 12.7. The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 12.5 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 25.2. Tropical Cyclone Belal was similar in size and intensity to Hurricane Dolly when Dolly hit south Texas in 2008.

Tropical Cyclone Belal will move through an environment unfavorable for intensification during the next 24 hours. Belal will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 27°C. It will move under the southern part of an upper level ridge over the Southwest Indian Ocean. The upper level ridge will produce westerly winds that will blow toward the top of Belal’s circulation. Those winds will cause moderate vertical wind shear. The vertical wind shear is likely to cause Tropical Cyclone Belal to weaken gradually during the next 24 hours.

Tropical Cyclone Belal will move around the western part of a high pressure system over the South Indian Ocean. The high pressure system will steer Belal toward the east-southeast during the next 24 hours. On its anticipated track, Tropical Cyclone Belal will move slowly away from La Reunion during the next 24 hours. The center of Belal’s circulation will be south of Mauritius later today.

The strong winds will gradually weaken over La Reunion as Tropical Cyclone Belal moves farther away. Heavy rain will also diminish. Gust winds and locally heavy rain will continue to affect Mauritius during the next 24 hours. Prolonged heavy rain will cause additional flooding in Mauritius.

Tropical Cyclone Belal Nears La Reunion

Tropical Cyclone Belal neared La Reunion on Sunday night. A Violet Alert was in effect for La Reunion. At 10:00 p.m. EST on Sunday the center of Tropical Cyclone Belal was located at latitude 20.7°S and longitude 54.8°E which put it about 50 miles (80 km) west of St. Denis, La Reunion. Belal was moving toward the southeast at 7 m.p.h. (11 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 105 m.p.h. (165 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 125 m.p.h. (200 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 968 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Belal intensified to the equivalent of a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale as it approached La Reunion on Sunday. A small eye was present at the center of Belal’s circulation on some microwave satellite images. The eye was surrounded by a ring of thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms. Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Tropical Cyclone Belal. Storms near the core generated upper level divergence that pumped mass away from the tropical cyclone.

The circulation around Tropical Cyclone Belal was relatively small. Winds to hurricane/typhoon force extended out 25 miles (40 km) from the center of Belal’s circulation. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 80 miles (130 km) from the center of circulation. The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Tropical Cyclone Belal was 17.8. The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 7.8 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 25.6. Tropical Cyclone Belal was capable of causing localized serious damage.

Tropical Cyclone Belal will move through an environment somewhat favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours. Belal will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 28°C. It will move under the southern part of an upper level ridge over the Southwest Indian Ocean. The upper level ridge will produce westerly winds that will blow toward the top of Belal’s circulation. Those winds will cause some vertical wind shear. The vertical wind shear could prevent Tropical Cyclone Belal from intensifying on Monday.

Tropical Cyclone Belal will move around the western part of a high pressure system over the South Indian Ocean. The high pressure system will steer Belal toward the east-southeast during the next 24 hours. On its anticipated track, the center of Tropical Cyclone Belal will reach La Reunion during the next few hours. Tropical Cyclone Belal will bring strong winds and heavy rain to La Reunion. The core of Belal’s circulation with the strongest winds could pass directly over La Reunion. The strong winds will be capable of causing serious damage. Heavy rain will likely cause flash floods in some location. Belal could cause a storm surge of up to 10 feet (3 meters) along parts of the coast of La Reunion. Bands in the northern part of Tropical Cyclone Belal will also bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to Mauritius.

Tropical Cyclone Belal Strengthens to Equivalent of a Hurricane/Typhoon

Tropical Cyclone Belal strengthened to the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon over the Southwest Indian Ocean on Saturday. At 10:00 p.m. EST on Saturday the center of Tropical Cyclone Belal was located at latitude 18.4°S and longitude 53.5°E which put it about 200 miles (325 km) northwest of St. Denis, la Reunion. Belal was moving toward the southwest at 5 m.p.h. (8 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 100 m.p.h. (160 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 980 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Belal strengthened to the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon over the Southwest Indian Ocean northwest of la Reunion on Saturday. The inner end of a rainband wrapped around the northern and eastern sides of the center Belal’s circulation. An eye appeared to be forming at the center of circulation. Bands of showers and thunderstorms revolved around the core of Tropical Cyclone Belal. Storms near the core generated upper level divergence that pumped mass away from the tropical cyclone. The removal of mass caused the surface pressure to decrease.

The circulation around Tropical Cyclone Belal was more symmetrical on Saturday. Winds to hurricane/typhoon force extended out 25 miles (40 km) from the center of Belal’s circulation. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 105 miles (165 km) from the center of circulation. The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Tropical Cyclone Belal was 11.6. The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 10.0 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 21.6.

Tropical Cyclone Belal will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours. Belal will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 30°C. It will move under the axis of an upper level ridge over the Southwest Indian Ocean. The upper level winds are weak near the axis of the ridge and there will be little vertical wind shear. Tropical Cyclone Belal will continue to intensify on Sunday. Belal could intensify rapidly after an inner core with an eye and an eyewall is fully developed. Tropical Cyclone Belal could strengthen to the equivalent of a major hurricane during the next 36 hours.

Tropical Cyclone Belal will move around the western part of a high pressure system over the South Indian Ocean. The high pressure system will steer Belal toward the southeast during the next 36 hours. On its anticipated track, the center of Tropical Cyclone Belal could reach la Reunion in 36 hours. Belal could be the equivalent of a major hurricane when it reaches la Reunion. Tropical Cyclone Belal will bring strong winds and heavy rain to la Reunion. The strong winds will be capable of causing major damage. Heavy rain will likely cause flash floods in some location. Belal could cause a storm surge of up to 12 feet (3.6 meters) along parts of the coast of la Reunion. Tropical Cyclone Belal will also bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to Mauritius.