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A new tropical cyclone has formed in the Southeastern Indian Ocean, to the west of Madagascar. The precursor low developed over North-Central Mozambique and has since then moved southeastward and reached the Mozambique channel.

 

History of the system

 

The first signs of the low pressure area can be noted in the satellite image in the link below:

 

http://oiswww.eumetsat.org/IPPS/html/MTP/IMAGERY/IR115/COLOR/WINDIANOCEAN/IMAGESDisplay/fsY5HmvSILRfe

 

The image is as of 14-2-2014.

 

What can be seen is a fairy disorganized low pressure area over the eastern edge Mozambique with some weakly defined banding features spiralling into the low pressur area. Moreover, the subtropical version of TC Fobane can be seen in the southeastern corner of the satellite image.

 

Current structure

 

Below is a Rainbow satellite image of the current structure of 15S:

Posted Image

 

What can be seen is a long, ragged band of convection to the east of the system, which is impacting the western part of Madagascar at the moment of writing. Moreover, there are also some thinner, ragged bands to the northwest of the system. The center of the system is located over or just to the north of the intense (though once again ragged) area of convection near 19N 40E (as of CIMSS).

 

Satellite intensity estimates have been in the 40-50 kt range, indicating 15S is currently a decent tropical storm, and will most likely be named shortly.

 

Of note is that the system is very large, as the rainbands are affecting Africa as well as Madagascar. The north-south extent of the storm is even larger. A very rough estimate of its size (based on rainbands, NOT on wind radius) indicates the system is about 2200 km in diameter. (10* latitude is by definition around 1100 km distance). 
 

Moreover, the system also seems to have a rather disorganized inner structure. This, combined with the large size of the cyclone, indicates that strengthening will most likely be slow to occur.

 

Forecasts

 

The forecast track of 15S seems to be relatively straightforeward, as can be seen in the JTWC track forecast below:

Posted Image

The track indicates the system will be moving to the south away from land, with a recurve to the southeast in the extended timeframes. The RSMC La Reunion agrees with the forecast (with some minor differences). It can be found in the link below:

 

http://www.meteo.fr/temps/domtom/La_Reunion/meteoreunion2/cyclone/carte/trajectoire.png

 

The intensity forecast from indicates that 15S will be strenghtening up to 60 kt (almost at hurricane strength) before weakening and undergoing Extratropical Transition later in the forecast period,

 

Sources:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013%E2%80%9314_South-West_Indian_Ocean_cyclone_season

http://oiswww.eumetsat.org/IPPS/html/MTP/IMAGERY/IR115/COLOR/WINDIANOCEAN/index.htm

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/TROP/floaters/15S/15S_floater.html

http://tropic.ssec.wisc.edu/real-time/storm.php?&basin=indian&sname=15S&invest=NO&zoom=4&img=1&vars=11111000000000000000&loop=0
http://www.usno.navy.mil/JTWC/

http://www.meteo.fr/temps/domtom/La_Reunion/meteoreunion2/

Edited by Vorticity0123

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The system has now been named Guito by MeteoFrance. Winds are up to 45kts according to JTWC. Guito retains a fairly broad circulation but with strong banding. Outflow is good in both the poleward and equatorward quadrants of Guito, and shear is fairly low. Water should remain warm for about another 36hrs along track. With all this in mind, Guito should further intensify, and JTWC have upped the forecast peak to 70kts. Guito should continue to move south along the western flank of a ridge to the east, before an approaching trough recurves Guito to the southeast over increasing shear and colder waters to the southwest of Madagascar.

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Guito has continued to intensify, and winds are now at 65kts. Guito's inner core has become much more established today, and an eye is emerging from the newly formed central dense overcast. Dual outflow channels, warm water and reletively low shear have fuelled this intensification. Guito is probably nearing it's peak, as sea temperatures fall away soon on the southerly track.

 

post-1820-0-04868700-1392849920_thumb.jp

 

 

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Guito's peak remained 65kts. The cyclone has now slipped south out of the Mozambique Channel and has dissipated over colder waters and high shear.

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