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Tropical Cyclone “Fantala” intensifying in the southern Indian Ocean

tropical-cyclone-fantala-intensifying-in-the-southern-indian-ocean

Tropical Cyclone "Fantala" formed at 18:00 UTC on April 11, 2016, about 655 km (407 miles) southeast of Diego Garcia atoll in the southern Indian Ocean. The system is intensifying rapidly as it moves west toward Madagascar. Fantala is expected to peak at 222 km/h (138 mph) on April 15 and become a quasi-stationary system.

At 09:00 UTC on April 12, Fantala had maximum sustained winds of 111 km/h (69 mph). It was centered about 753 km (468 miles) south-southwest of Diego Garcia and moving to the west at 14.8 km/h (9.2 mph).

This system has a 27.7 km wide (17.2 miles) cloud-filled eye and is packing powerful thunderstorms, the strongest of which are currently in its western quadrant.

Fantala is tracking in a favorable environment with low to moderate vertical wind shear and strong divergent outflow. Sea surface temperatures near 29 °C (84.2 °F) and high ocean heat content are supporting the current rapid intensification phase.

Fantala is expected to become a quasi-stationary system on April 15, reach its peak wind intensity of 222 km/h (138 mph) and then start weakening.

Tropical Cyclone "Fantala" – visible/infrared image at 14:30 UTC on April 12, 2016. Image credit: UW-CIMSS

Tropical Cyclone "Fantala" on April 12, 2016. Image credit: NASA/NOAA/DoD Suomi NPP VIIRS

Tropical Cyclone "Fantala" – infrared (NHC enhancement) image at 14:30 UTC on April 12, 2016. Image credit: UW-CIMSS

Tropical Cyclone "Fantala" forecast track with sea surface temperature (SST – Reynolds) – April 12, 2016. Image credit: UW-CIMSS

Tropical Cyclone "Fantala" forecast track by JTWC on April 12, 2016.

Featured image credit: Tropical Cyclone "Fantala" forecast track by UW-CIMSS/JTWC at 14:30 UTC on April 12, 2016. Image credit: UW-CIMSS

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