Powerful Tropical Cyclone "Fantala" strengthened to 240 km/h (149.6 mph) on April 17, greater than what was previously forecast. The storm is about to make a U-turn toward the southeast and slowly weaken. Strong wind warnings are in effect for Rodrigues, Mauritius, St Brandon and Agalega.
According to the JTWC, Fantala had maximum sustained winds of 240 km/h (149.6 mph) with wind gusts to 296 km/h (184.1 mph) at 09:00 UTC on April 17. This made Fantala equivalent to a strong Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. The system was located about 1 168 km (726 miles) north-northwest of Port Louis, Mauritius and was moving west-northwest at 18.5 km/h (11.5 mph).
Animated multispectral satellite imagery depicts a deepening central core structure surrounding a sharp 20 km (2.6 miles) eye feature.
Fantala is moving under the influence of a deep-layer sub-tropical ridge over Madagascar. This ridge is expected to weaken over the next 24 hours, allowing a building near-equatorial ridge to the north to assume steering. This will cause a sharp poleward turn to a southeastward trajectory.
— Philip Klotzbach (@philklotzbach) April 17, 2016
The system will continue to weaken slowly as moderate vertical wind shear (vws) and the restricted outflow hamper further intensification.
In the extended forecast, JTWC said, an approaching mid-latitude trough will create another strong poleward outflow channel allowing an additional intensification phase prior to vws increasing.
Tropical Cyclone "Fantala" at 17:00 UTC on April 17, 2016. Credit: EUMETSAT
Tropical Cyclone "Fantala" on April 17, 2016. Image credit: NASA/NOAA/DoD Suomi NPP
Tropical Cyclone "Fantala" JTWC forecast on April 17, 2016
Tropical Cyclone "Fantala" – Sea surface temperature (Reynold) – April 17, 2016. Credit: UW-CIMSS
Featured image credit: NASA/NOAA/DoD Suomi NPP
If you value what we do here, create your ad-free account and support our journalism.
Producing content you read on this website takes a lot of time, effort, and hard work. If you value what we do here, select the level of your support and register your account.
Your support makes this project fully self-sustainable and keeps us independent and focused on the content we love to create and share.
All our supporters can browse the website without ads, allowing much faster speeds and a clean interface. Your comments will be instantly approved and you’ll have a direct line of communication with us from within your account dashboard. You can suggest new features and apps and you’ll be able to use them before they go live.
You can choose the level of your support.
Stay kind, vigilant and ready!