Tropical Cyclone Formation Alert – UPDATE
The area of convection previously located 375 nautical miles east of Nadi, Fiji, is now approximately 335 nautical miles east-southeast of Nadi, visible in the upper lefthand corner.
Recent animated multispectral imagery continues to indicate a well-definied circulation, but the low level circulation center (LLCC) has become partially exposed over the past six hours.
Microwave imagery indicates that the convection is being sheared to the east of the LLCC.
The most recent QUIKSCAT and WINDSAT images indicate winds of 25 to 30 knots near the center of the circulation and 30 to 35 knots along the eastern periphery of the LLCC.
The upper level environment remains marginal with moderate vertical wind shear; however, an upper level trough that has been located to the west of the system continues to track eastward.
This could allow the currently strong shear gradient to relax and allow convection to re-build over the LLCC.
Maximum sustained surface winds are estimated at 27 to 32 knots. Minimum sea level pressure is estimated to be near 1000mb.
Due to the well-defined LLCC and potential for a decrease in vertical wind shear, the potential for the development of a significant tropical cyclone within the next 24 hours is good.