Tropical Cyclone Oli (12P) Expected to Intensify Steadily
Tropical Cyclone Oli (12P), located approximately 540 nautical miles north-northwest of Rarotonga, has tracked southeastward at 20 knots over the past six hours. The initial intensity of 50 knots is based on Dvorak intensity estimates ranging from 45 to 55 knots. Maximum significant wave height is 18 feet.
The system will continue to track along the southern periphery of the near equatorial ridge for the next 48 hours, then slow as the subtropical ridge to the east picks up the system and tracks it increasingly poleward.
All the while, the cyclone will continue to steadily intensify under improved upper level venting and low vertical wind shear. Sea surface temperatures will not fall below 26 degrees Celsius until near TAU 96, around the same time the cyclone will begin extratropical transition. Vertical wind shear will also elevate as the system gains latitude. Both of these factors will contribute to slow weakening beyond TAU 72.
This forecast has been shifted south of the last forecast in response to the cyclone trending southeastward over the past 12 hours. The track has also been slowed, especially in the later TAUs, in line with a slower model consensus.