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Tropical Cyclone 13S (Gael) Brushes Madagascar Coast, Returns to Open Ocean

February 9th, 2009 Category: Tropical Cyclones

Tropical Cyclone 13S (Gael) - February 7th, 2009

Tropical Cyclone 13S (Gael) - February 7th, 2009

TC 13S - enhanced image

TC 13S - enhanced image

Tropical Cyclone 13S (Gael), located approximately 355 nautical miles south of La Reunion, has tracked south-southeastward at 16 knots over the past 6 hours.

In the main image, TC 13S is visible in its position on February 7th, when it brushed the northeastern coast of Madagascar before returning over water. The map below, however, shows its current position southeast of the island nation.

The enhanced image permits a more detailed look at the well-defined eye of the cyclone.

Despite remaining an intense tropical cyclone, a rapid weakening trend is projected to begin over the next 24 hours as Gael transitions into a very strong extratropical system.

The current intensity of 90 knots hedges slightly lower than earlier intensity estimates due to the initiation of rapid weakening, as evident in more recent animated infrared and water vapor satellite imagery.

Excessive vertical wind shear ahead of a baroclinic boundary just upstream and sea surface temperatures below the 26 degree celsius threshold, will weaken the system to near 50 knots just prior to completing extratropical transition at TAU 24.

Maximum significant wave height is 23 feet.

source JTWC

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