Tropical Cyclone Bongani (02S) Near Northern Madagascar9.1S 52.0E
Tropical Cyclone Bongani (02S), partially visible along the right edge, is located approximately 685 nm north-northeast of Antananarivo, Madagascar (below). The system has tracked west-southwestward at 6 knots over the past six hours.
Animated infrared satellite imagery indicates increasingly disorganized deep convection, however, a recent METOP-A image depicts a partially exposed but well-defined low-level circulation center (LLCC) with convective banding over the western semi-circle.
The current intensity of 45 knots is higher than the Dvorak estimates of 35 knots based on an ASCAT image (25-km) showing 40-45 knot unflagged winds.
TC 02S is forecast to track slowly west-southwestward through TAU 48 under the steering influence of a weak low- to mid-level subtropical ridge (STR) then is forecast to accelerate more southwestward after TAU 72 as the STR strengthens and shifts east of Madagascar. The majority of the model guidance indicates the system will likely turn poleward over water, while one model suggests the system could turn poleward later, as it tracks over Mozambique.
Bongani is forecast to intensify slowly but should strengthen after TAU 48 due to improved poleward outflow. TC 02S will likely weaken after TAU 96 due to increased vertical wind shear associated with the approaching midlatitude shortwave trough. Maximum significant wave height is 12 feet.