Strong Possibility of Cyclone Formation in Pacific Ocean
An area of convection is located approximately 375 nautical miles east of Nadi, Fiji.
Formation of a significant tropical cyclone is possible within a 195 nautical mile radius of 17.3S 176.1W within the next 12 to 24 hours.
The system has a circulation center located near 17.3S 176.1W, and is moving southward at 4 knots.
Animated multispectral imagery indicates a well-definied, but somewhat elongated, low level circulation center (LLCC).
Microwave imagery suggests that convection is sheared to the east of the LLCC.
A partial ASCAT pass indicates that there are winds of 25 to 30 knots on the periphery of the LLCC, although winds at the center are lighter.
The upper level environment remains diffluent; however, an upper level trough that was to the west of the system appears to be pushing eastward.
This could allow the currently strong shear gradient to relax and permit convection to build over the LLCC.
Maximum sustained surface winds are estimated at 25 to 30 knots. Minimum sea level pressure is estimated to be near 1004mb.
The potential for the development of a significant tropical cyclone within the next 24 hours is good.