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Tropical Cyclone 18P (Hamish) Intensifies Rapidly

March 6th, 2009 Category: Tropical Cyclones

Tropical Cyclone 18P (Hamish) - March 5th, 2009

Tropical Cyclone 18P (Hamish) - March 5th, 2009

Tropical Cyclone 18P (Hamish), located approximately 175 nautical miles north-northeast of Cairns, Australia has tracked south-southeastward at 03 knots while rapidly intensifying over the past 6 hours.

Animated multispectral satellite imagery and an AMSUB image depict tightly curved banding wrapping into a well defined low-level circulation center (LLCC). An ASCAT image confirms the LLCC with 50 knot unflagged winds near the center.

Observations from Bougainville Reef (100 nautical miles south) indicate southeasterly sustained winds at 40 knots over the past three hours.

The system is located within a favorable environment with weak vertical wind shear, warm SST greater than 28C and deep moisture.

Animated water vapor imagery indicates an anticyclone over the center with good radial outflow.

Current intensity is based upon Dvorak intensity estimates ranging from 55 to 65 knots. Maximum significant wave height is 14 feet.

TC 18P is forecast to continue intensifying under favorable conditions, reaching a max of 90 knots near TAU 36.

After this time, a combination of increased vertical wind shear caused by an approaching short wave trough and land interaction as the storm nears the coastline will begin weakening the storm by the end of the forecast period.

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