Tropical Cyclone "Corentin" formed south of Diego Garcia in the central Indian Ocean on January 21, 2016. The system is currently intensifying and will reach the Category 2 hurricane status over the next two days. It is expected to remain away from the populated areas, and no warnings have been issued thus far.
Corentin was located approximately 1 687 km (1 048 miles) east of Port Louis, Mauritius and moving southward at 18.5 km/h (11.5 mph) on January 22 at 03:00 UTC, according to Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC).
Tropical Cyclone "Corentin", January 22, 2016. Image credit: NASA/Suomi NPP/VIIRS
Tropical Cyclone "Corentin" moving track, January 22, 2016 at 13:30 UTC. Image credit: UW-CIMSS
The tropical cyclone was packing maximum sustained winds of 101.9 km/h (63.3 mph) and gusts of 129.6 km/h (80.5 mph) while its minimum central pressure was estimated at 974 hPa.
On January 21 at 0146 UTC GPM saw rain at a rate of over 71 mm (2.8 inches) per hour in strong storms to the northeast Corentin's center. Cloud tops were reaching heights of almost 13 km (8 miles) in the intense feeder band west of the low's center of circulation. Image credit: NASA/JAXA/SSAI, Hal Pierce
Low vertical wind shear and sea surface temperatures in the area are currently favorable, ranging between 29 and 30 °C (84.2 and 86 °F). Corentin is expected to intensify over the next 48 hours. Maximum sustained wind speeds will reach 175.9 km/h (109.3 mph) with higher gusts of 212.9 km/h (132.3 mph).
Tropical Cyclone "Corentin" 5-day forecast track. Image credit: JTWC
After that, the system will begin to weaken gradually, as it tracks over colder waters into a region with increased vertical wind shear.
Corentin is expected to remain far enough from the populated area, and no tropical watches or warnings have been issued so far.
Featured image: Tropical Cyclone "Corentin", January 22, 2016. Image credit: NASA/Suomi NPP/VIIRS