Defined Eye of Tropical Storm Claudia (03S) – December 9th, 20124.9S 71.9E
Tropical Storm Claudia (03S), located approximately 505 nm south-southeast of Diego Garcia, has tracked southward at 03 knots over the past six hours. Maximum significant wave height is 37 feet.
Animated infrared satellite imagery indicates a slight weakening trend over the past twelve hours; however, the system has maintained a 10-nm banding eye. The initial intensity is assessed at 100 knots.
Animated water vapor imagery continues to indicate a favorable upper-level environment with near-radial outflow, enhanced by midlatitude westerly flow, and low vertical wind shear (VWS).
These favorable conditions are forecast to remain in place for the next 24 hours until TC 03S begins to track over cooler SSTs. The system will also encounter increasing VWS associated with a deep midlatitude shortwave trough, which will serve to significantly weaken the system.
Near TAU 72, Claudia will begin extra-tropical transition (EET) as it interacts with the baroclinic zone poleward of 25 degrees south and will complete ETT by TAU 96. There is a possibility that TC 03S may weaken below 35 knots prior to completing ETT due to the cold SST present poleward of 30S.