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A new tropical storm has formed in the central South Indian Ocean, about 500 miles west of Cocos Island. Ikola has winds of 35kts, and has some moderately deep convection over the LLCC, with good banding features already developing. As Ikola heads southeast, it should strengthen as shear is low, and outflow is very good. Eventually, the southeast track will take Ikola over cooler waters and into higher shear, which will initiate weakening.

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Ikola has rapidly intensified overnight, with winds now at 65kts according to JTWC. Ikola has developed an eye which appears to be clearing out. Further rapid intensification may occur over the next 12hrs as shear remains reletively low and outflow excellent. Thereafter, decreasing sea temps and increasing shear will bring about a weakening trend.

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Ikola has continued to rapidly intensify. Winds are now at 95kts, a high end cat 2 on the SS scale. JTWC expect a peak of 105kts in the next 12hrs before conditions deteriorate.

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Ikola's winds briefly reached 100kts, but the cyclone is now in decline as it races southeastwards. Shear is affecting Ikola, giving it a distorted look this morning. Winds are back down to 95kts. Further, quick weakening is expected on the southeasterly track. The track will take Ikola into SW Australia eventually, but the system will be a shadow of it's former self by then.

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