Tropical Cyclone Pat (14P) Expected to Strengthen Slightly15.4S 159.6W
Tropical Cyclone Pat (14P), located approximately 275 nautical miles north of Raratonga, has tracked southward at 7 knots over the past six hours. Maximum significant wave height is 17 feet. This image shows convection associated with the system.
Animated multispectral imagery shows the system has developed an eye-like feature as convective bands deepened and consolidated further over the past 12 hours.
The current position is based on a 1-km resolution visible satellite imagery showing a well defined low level circulation center and the current imagery is based on a T4.5 (77 knots) Dvorak estimate. Upper level analysis indicates the system is now tracking along the western edge of a subtropical ridge to the East in an area of low- to moderate, albeit increasing, vertical wind shear (VWS).
TC Pat is expected to turn southwestward and strengthen slightly over the next 24 hours as the poleward outflow will intensify as the system approaches strong westerly upper level winds. Beyond TAU 24, TC 14P will gradually weaken with increasing VWS and cooling sea surface temperatures. By TAU 96, Pat will round the western edge of the steering ridge and turn more southward ahead of an approaching mid-latitude trough and begin extra-tropical transition.
Numerical model guidance is in fair agreement in the initial TAUs, but diverges into two groupings in the later TAUs, with some models indicating an unlikely westward track due to excessive direct cyclone interaction with a developing cyclone to the West, while other models support the current forecast track.