A new tropical cyclone formed southwest of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean on December 10, Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) reported. Tropical cyclone named 05S is currently located in marginally favorable ocean and atmosphere environment, which will enable it to slightly intensify over the next day. The system will pass east of the Mauritus and La Reunion Island, and Rodrigues Island could feel its effect over the next couple of days.
The system was first spotted as a tropical depression 97S on December 9, and it intensified into a tropical storm on December 10.
The MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured this image of Tropical Cyclone 05S in the Southern Indian Ocean on December 10, 2015 at 08:55 UTC. Image credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
Tropical Cyclone 05S moving track and synoptic situation, December 10, 2015, 17:30 UTC. Image credit: UW-CIMSS
Tropical Cyclone "05S" was located approximately 813 km (505 miles) southwest of Diego Garcia and traveling with a forward speed of 14.8 km/h (92. mph) at 09:00 UTC, while packing maximum sustained winds of 64.8 km/h (40.3 mph), according to JTWC. Minimum central pressure of the system was estimated at 996 hPa.
05S will slightly intensify over the next 24 hours. Its maximum sustained wind speeds will reach 92.6 km/h (57.5 mph) with somewhat higher gusts up to 120.4 km/h (74.8 mph). After 3 days, the system will begin to loose its strength and, finally, dissipate completely within the next 5 days.
NASA's Aqua satellite captured infrared temperature data on TC05S showing strongest thunderstorms with coldest cloud tops in purple on December 9 at 20:35 UTC. Image credit: NASA JPL/Ed Olsen
The cyclone will remain within a low vertical wind shear region over the next 3 days. Sea surface temperatures in the area are currently about 27 °C (80.6 °F), which is marginal for further development, but they will also become unfavorable over the next 72 hours. Increasing interaction with the mid-latitude westerlies will lead to the dissipation of the system afterwards.
Tropical Cyclone "05S" 5-day forecast track. Image credit: JTWC
Tropical Cyclone "05S" is expected to pass east of Mauritus and La Reunion Island in the period between December 12 and 14 and Rodrigues Island will most likely feel effects from the storm.
Featured image: The MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured this image of Tropical Cyclone 05S in the Southern Indian Ocean on December 10, 2015 at 08:55 UTC. Image credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team