Eunice reaches Category 5 hurricane equivalent, South Indian Ocean

Eunice reaches Category 5 hurricane equivalent, South Indian Ocean

Tropical Cyclone "Eunice" formed on January 28 over the open waters of South Indian Ocean and rapidly intensified. Eunice is a powerful storm, however, it is located far from any land.

According to JTWC warning issued 00:00 UTC today, Eunice had maximum sustained (1-minute) average wind speed of 259 km/h (161 mph) and wind gusts of 314 km/h (195 mph). On Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale this would be a Category 5 hurricane, the strongest. Its maximum significant wave height at the time was 11.5 meters (38 feet).

At 03:00 UTC today, Eunice was located approximately 1126 km (699 miles) ENE of Port Louis, Mauritius and has tracked SSE at 14.8 km/h (9.2 mph) over the past six hours.

Eunice forecast track by JTWC on January 30, 2015

Animated enhanced infrared satellite imagery depicts deep symmetric central convection surrounding a well-defined 57 km (35 miles) eye.

JTWC expects Eunice to continue intensifying during the next 24 hours to a maximum intensity of 277.8 km/h (172.6 mph). It is expected to begin its extra-tropical transition within 5 days.

Eunice on January 30, 2015. Image credit: NASA Terra/MODIS

According to RSMC La Reunion Tropical Cyclone Warning issued 06:00 UTC today, Eunice had central pressure of 915 hPa, and a maximum average (10-minute) wind speed of 240 km/h (149 mph).

This makes Eunice a Very intense tropical cyclone on South-west Indian Ocean Tropical Cyclone intensity scale.

Meanwhile, what's left of once Moderate tropical storm "Diamondra" is tracking to the SE.

Between 00:00 and 06:00 UTC today, Diamondra has lost its purely tropical characteristics and became a post-tropical depression.

Eunice and Ex-Diamondra on January 30, 2015. Image credit: UW CIMSS

Diamondra is expected to complete its extra-tropical transition later this weekend.

Image credit: METEO France/RSMC La Reunion

Satellite animations

Featured image: Eunice on January 30, 2015. Image credit: NASA Terra/MODIS


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