Area of convection – February 18th, 2013
Track of TC 15S
The area of convection previously located near 19.4S 40.0E (click here for previous images) is now located near 19.7S 41.1E, approximately 335 nm west of Antananarivo, Madagascar.
Animated infrared satellite imagery indicates a consolidating low-level circulation center (LLCC) with curved, deep convective banding over the eastern semi-circle. An SSMIS image depicts tightly-curved banding wrapping into a well-defined LLCC.
Recent scatterometer imagery as well as microwave- derived winds support 25 to 30 knot winds. Upper-level analysis indicates a point source near the center with near-radial outflow enhanced by an upper-level low positioned south of Madagascar. Vertical wind shear remains moderate (20 knots) and continues to hamper convective development over the western semi-circle. SST remains favorable at 29 to 30 degrees celsius.
Numerical models indicate development is likely over the next 12-24 hours. Maximum sustained surface winds are estimated at 25 to 30 knots. Minimum sea level pressure is estimated to be near 1000 mb. The potential for the development of a significant tropical cyclone within the next 24 hours remains high.